Algal blooms have returned to local beaches in recent weeks. The worst affected area has been Tathra Beach although smaller localised blooms have also been observed on Pambula and Merimbula beaches.
Council’s coastal management officer, Kyran Crane said that large aggregations of a brown macroalgae, Hinksia sordida have been viewed at Tathra Beach.
“This bloom was witnessed in the days prior to the highly anticipated Wharf to Waves race which caused some concern for swimmers prior to the event. Fortunately the algal bloom had mostly cleared before the race,” he said.
“The bloom was sampled by a local marine biologist and it was found that it was dominated by Hinksia sordida, although it also contained a small mixture other benthic algae likely to have been dislodged in previous heavy seas.
“Hinksia is seasonally abundant on the South Coast and its blooms are a natural cycle which we have witnessed over many years.
“The algal bloom is not responsible for the recent poor water quality at Pambula River Mouth.
“Although Hinksia can be an annoyance to swimmers, it is not harmful to humans. Swimmers should not be alarmed by this species, however people should avoid swimming where the algae are dense as a safety precaution,” he said.
If you would like any further information about this or any other local algae please contact Bega Valley Shire Council on 6499 2222 or pick up a ‘Marine Macroalgae & Seagrasses of the Bega Valley’ booklet guide from council’s Bega office.