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Red Algae Bloom at Mollymook Beach


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Red Algae Bloom at Mollymook Beach, Saturday afternoon


The following information was found on the web in relation to ‘Red Algae Bloom’.

According to Wikipedia the “red tide” is a common term used for a harmful algal bloom. It is not uncommon for it to occur nearly every summer. This bloom is caused by microscopic algae that produce toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat.

An article in the Washington Post back in July, reported: “a 26-foot whale shark found dead on Sanibel Island, on Florida’s southwestern Gulf Coast, its body riddled with the neurotoxin produced by tiny algae in the sea.

Marine scientists don’t know for sure how it died, but they have a suspect the Karenia brevis algae — a single-celled organism that’s currently in a massive bloom cycle, called a red tide. 

The red tide has claimed many many victims this year on the Florida coast, which has become a rotting marine graveyard. At least a hundred manatees, a dozen dolphins, thousands of fish, 300 sea turtles, and more have died or washed along shores in putrid-smelling masses. They were all likely felled by the red tide.

The red tide is a normal, seasonal occurrence in southwest Florida. But this year’s red tide has persisted since last November — nearly a year now — making it the worst bloom since 2006.” 

A BBC report had the following to say: “Since November 2017, the red tide has taken a toll on the marine life around this extremely diverse paradise. At least 29 manatees are confirmed to have died due to the toxin by the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Seventy-four more deaths are being investigated. The FWC has documented 588 stranded sea turtles and attributes 318 of them to the red tide. 

But the red tide can also affect people. According to the National Oceanic Service, sea waves can cause K. brevis cells to release toxins into the air, causing skin irritations and respiratory problems. For people with chronic conditions such as asthma, the red tide can make them very sick.”

The following information was provided by Monica Mudge: 

A link to the recent algae seen at Jervis Bay. (Info from SCC)

I’m trying to find out if it’s linked to all the red jellyfish currently in the ocean (the lions main jellyfish), which I believe it is. I’ll let you know.

A link to the recent story from the Narooma news regarding the jellyfish.

X Moni



Editor: Ken Banks on behalf of the Mollymook Ocean Swimmers