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Algal alert for Sydney waters

Posted Friday 30 November 2012

A number of people have contacted Council about the pinkish/red algae at Balmoral.

Please note the following information and advice from the Regional Algal Committee:

Marine algal presence: Hunter, Central Coast, Sydney and South Coast beaches

The Metropolitan Sydney South Coast and Hunter Regional Algal Co-ordinating Committees today advised communities along coastal beaches between the Hunter and Batemans Bay to the continued presence of marine algal blooms.

Samples taken at Bondi Beach on 27 November confirmed the presence of Noctiluca scintillans, which appears as a pinkish to reddish discolouration in water with a similar characteristic to fairy floss. It can also appear to be phosphorescent at night.

Testing of samples taken at Newcastle beaches today have also been confirmed as Noctiluca scintillans.

While bloom sightings along Central and South Coast beaches are yet to be positively identified, it is likely they are also Noctiluca scintillans.

These blooms have occurred as a result of prevailing weather and ocean conditions.

Noctiluca scintillans has no known toxic effects, but can produce high ammonia levels that may cause skin irritation in some people.

The blooms will dissipate naturally as conditions change.

The community are reminded that while there are no known toxic effects from this particular species of marine algae, people are advised to avoid swimming in any areas with discoloured water.

Source: Metropolitan Sydney South Coast and Hunter Regional Algal Coordinating Committees
29 November 2012