Beach-goers urged to be wary of marine algal bloom

Beach-goers urged to be wary of marine algal bloom

02 March 2019

The public is being advised to avoid making contact with water discoloured by a marine algal bloom being reported in the Sydney region.

Samples tested from the Manly area yesterday were identified as Trichodesmium erythraeum, a species not considered toxic but with potential to cause skin and eye irritations.

Reports of the bloom have been received along the coast from Palm Beach to the Illawarra.

The algal bloom currently appears as a brownish discolouration throughout the water and can often be mistaken as an oil slick.
In later life stages the species may be visible as a pinkish discolouration in the water.

Generally, the health impacts of marine or estuarine species is largely unknown so caution should be exercised where blooms occur.

NSW Health said: “People should avoid swimming or wading in discoloured water affected by the algae. People should also avoid contact with any algal material if it is washed up onto beaches.”

Marine and estuarine blooms will often move with the wind and tides which means the bloom may present at different locations along the NSW coast.

Trichodesmiumerythraeum occur in tropical and temperate environments and can move down the coast via the East Australian Current.

Authorities will continue to monitor the bloom and advise the public as required.

Updates and information about harmful algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae

Media Contact – Tony Webber – 0428 613 478

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