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High levels of toxin found in James River crabs

8:29 AM, Aug 12, 2013   |    comments
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A study of harmful algae in the James River has found high levels of a toxin in blue crabs.

The three-year study is being conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University.

VCU river ecologist Paul Bukaveckas is leading the freshwater portion of the study. He tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/14o0A9o) that researchers discovered high levels of a toxin called microcystin in James River blue crabs in August 2012. He says toxin also has been found in crabs this summer but not at high levels.

Rebecca LePrell with the Virginia Department of Health says there's no reason to believe the toxin levels are a health risk.

VCU fish ecologist Greg Garman says there's little or no commercial crab harvesting in the freshwater study area.

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