Non-toxic marine algal bloom identified at Jervis Bay

A marine algal bloom has been reported in Jervis Bay and water sampling conducted has identified it as a non-toxic group of Phytoplankton.

On 10 December 2020 Shoalhaven City Council’s Environmental Health staff assisted in taking water samples at Jervis Bay following reports of an algal bloom.

The water samples were given to an independent laboratory for testing.

Shoalhaven City Council’s Mayor, Amanda Findley said “Council’s Environmental Health staff respond quickly to reports of algal bloom because of the potential risk to public health”.

“The algal bloom reported to Council is appearing as a light green/ turquoise discolouration throughout the water and although it has been identified as non-toxic contact with the areas of discoloration or foam build up should be avoided as the algae may cause discomfort to sensitive water users. In some cases, the health impacts of marine or estuarine species are largely unknown”.

“Marine and estuarine blooms will often move with the wind and tides which means the bloom may present at different locations around the coastline”, Clr Findley said.

“It is not known how long the bloom will be present. Algae blooms of this nature, although not common have occurred in Jervis Bay previously and will generally remain while conditions are favourable. Other species of algae have also been identified and the nature of the bloom can change over time”, Clr Findley said.

Council staff will continue to monitor the bloom and is currently awaiting the results of further analysis which should further confirm species from samples taken offshore and report the results the public as required.

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