Algal bloom turns east coast sea red

Last updated 14:37 17/08/2012

SlideshowAlgae Bloom in Hawke's Bay

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The sea is turning red and purple along a large stretch of coastline due to an algal bloom.

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The Hawke's Bay Regional Council said a  flyover revealed the extent of the bloom which stretches from Te Awanga to Wairoa.

The sea colour varies from light brown, typical of flood water from the rivers, to a dark purple.

Samples taken from the bloom confirmed it was a non-toxic algae bloom named Akashiwo sanguinea. Akashiwo is Japanese for 'red tide'.

The bloom is quite common in Tasmania and off the Californian and Florida coastlines.  It may be linked to the consistent rain Hawke's Bay has experienced over recent weeks.

There is also more foam in the surf zone at beaches where the bloom is present.

The council said it would take samples today and over the next week to make sure the bloom remains non-toxic and no risk to human or animal health.

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- The Dominion Post


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