West Coast Center for Oceans and Human Health

Institution -
NOAA has designated the Northwest Fisheries Science Center as one of three Centers of Excellence in Oceans and Human Health. This West Coast Center for Oceans and Human Health will use a broad-based ecosystem approach and state-of-the-art biotechnology, models, and environmental assessment to investigate the distribution and persistence of harmful pathogens, biotoxins, and toxic chemicals in seafood (fish and shellfish). The center will also use marine mammals and fish as sentinel species to investigate current and potential human health risks, like cancer and immune suppression, from pathogens, biotoxins, and toxic chemicals. This research will provide the information needed to make sound decisions about the risks and benefits of seafood consumption and to support natural resource and human health managers in forecasting and reducing threats to human health. Research will be interdisciplinary and collaborative. Key partners include the University of Washington, University of California, Davis, Institute for Systems Biology, Oregon State University, The Marine Mammal Center and the Alaska Fisheries Science Center.