During 1998 and early 1999, shellfish samples from sites in Scotland were found to contain the amnesic shellfish poisoning toxin, domoic acid (DA). Two different techniques, liquid chromatography (LC) with UV diode-array detection and LC with mass spectrometric (MS) detection, were used to detect and confirm DA in shellfish extracts. The LC/UV method was validated for routine monitoring by recovery experiments on spiked mussel and scallop tissues with a certified mussel tissue used as reference material. Crude extracts of selected samples as well as extracts cleaned with strong anion exchange (SAX) were analyzed by both LC/UV and LC/MS. Good correlation (linear regression r2 = 0.996, slope = 0.93) between the 2 methods was found for cleaned extracts. Analyses of crude extracts by LC/UV produced false-positive results in 2 crab samples, whereas LC/MS analyses gave accurate results. It was concluded that LC/UV is a valid approach for routine monitoring of DA in shellfish when cleanup is performed with a SAX cartridge to prevent false positives. A variety of shellfish species were surveyed for DA content, including Pecten maximus (king scallops), Chlamys opercularis (queen scallop), Mytilus edulis (blue mussels), Cancer pugaris (crab), and Ensis ensis (razor fish). The highest concentration of DA was 105 microg/g in Pecten maximus.