Category Archives: Algal blooms and cyanobacteria

Alternative term is Phycology and Blue-green algae. Category includes cyanobacterial or other algal blooms in freshwater, estuarine and marine waters.
Focus on Australian waters.
Cyanobacteria, cyanobacterial toxins, algal blooms, algal toxin analysis.

Toxin found in Gippsland Lakes prompts shellfish warning from Victorian Health Department

ABC News  8 February 2016

People have been warned not to eat or take mussels and other shellfish from Victoria’s Gippsland Lakes region, as health authorities test for a rare, potentially fatal toxin.  High levels of the rare toxin Pseudo-nitzschia delicatissima, which is caused by algae blooms, was found in water samples taken at Eagle Point, Paynesville and Metung.

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Health warning over shellfish from Victoria’s Gippsland Lakes region (

Toxins related to ‘red tides’ found in home aquarium

(American Chemical Society 13 January 2016) Many shore residents and beach-goers are already familiar with the health risks of ‘red tide,’ algal blooms along coastlines that can trigger respiratory illness and other effects in people who inhale the toxins the algae release. Now in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology, scientists report new evidence that similar effects can occur on a much smaller scale among home aquaria owners.

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Toxin in blue-green algae blooms may increase risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases

ABC News Genelle Weule 20 January 2016

Long-term exposure to a toxin produced by blue-green algal blooms can trigger tangles in the brains of animals similar to those seen in the brains of humans with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions, a study has found.
“As far as we are aware, this is the first time researchers have been able to successfully produce brain tangles and amyloid deposits in an animal … through exposure to an environmental toxin,” said the study’s lead author Dr Paul Alan Cox, an ethnobotanist at the Institute for EthnoMedicine.
The study, published in the journal Royal Society Proceedings B, also identified a common supplement decreased the number of brain tangles in animals exposed to the toxin.

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BBC News report 21 January 2016

Link to full-text article in Royal Society Proceedings B

Harmful algal blooms and water quality

(Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 22 December 2015) Harmful algal blooms (HABs) occur naturally, but their outbreaks are influenced by climate change and droughts, nutrient enrichment and manmade factors, such as contaminants from sewage and stormwater discharge, natural resource extraction or agricultural runoff, to name a few. An article in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry explores inland surface water quality assessment, research on HABs and management practices in an effort to identify the current challenges and seek solutions to the threats HABs present to public health and the environment.

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Dry weather boosts Fraser Coast blue-green algae blooms says scientist

ABC News 26 November 2015

An environmental scientist says Queensland’s ongoing dry weather is contributing to blue-green algae blooms, like the ones Fraser Coast residents are dodging on local beaches.

The state’s waterways, dams and beaches have seen multiple outbreaks of blue-green algae, which can cause allergic reactions such as skin and eye irritation.

Around Hervey Bay, the Fraser Coast Council is warning people to avoid the algae washed up on beaches because of the potential health risks.

Fraser Coast beach-goers warned of toxic algae

ABC News Frances Adcock 23 November 2015

The Fraser Coast Mayor says the southern Queensland council will attempt to remove toxic blue-green algae that has washed up on the region’s beaches.

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Tasmanian shellfish conference tackles toxic algal blooms

ABC News Laura Beavis 23 October 2015

The need to develop faster tests to detect and monitor toxin-producing algal blooms has topped the agenda at a shellfish industry conference in St Helens on Tasmania’s east coast.

The Shellfish Futures conference coincided with an outbreak of algae that is disrupting shellfish production in the region.

Currently, to confirm the presence of toxins in shellfish, growers must send samples to a laboratory in Sydney, a process which can take up to 10 days and costs more than $800 per test.

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