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Harmful Algal Bloom Warning on West Coast

Lucy Towers
04 February 2015, at 12:00am

SOUTH AFRICA - The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) is currently monitoring an algal bloom detected on the West Coast and has dispatched its scientists to the area to assess its extent and scope.

The team will also determine which dinoflagellate (unicellular protists) is associated with the bloom.

“Until DAFF has the results, the public is cautioned against the collection for consumption of mussels, oysters, clams, bait and any other filter feeding shellfish north of Cape Columbine, as these organisms could be highly toxic and extremely dangerous,” the department said.

Red tide occurs when naturally occurring algae bloom out of control, producing toxins deadly to fish and other marine life.

The odourless chemicals can trigger respiratory distress in people, such as coughing and wheezing.