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3 weeks ago

Outdoors Victoria

DELWP is responding to reports of a ‘sea sparkle’ (Noctiluca scintillans) event that is affecting waters along the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula.

Blooms are spread from Port Phillip Heads to Apollo Bay and vary in concentration and distance from the shoreline.

Algal blooms were present at Lorne, Anglesea and Fairhaven beaches yesterday, with Lorne and Fairhaven beaches closing for a period of time, during the afternoon, as a precaution to beachgoers.

When present, blooms can produce a spectacular pinkish-red slick during the day and glowing light at night.

Sea sparkle is one of the most commonly occurring bioluminescent organisms in the world and during blooms can produce toxic levels of ammonia that can lead to fish deaths.

Blooms can look like a murky, sludge or oil-like substance floating in marine waters and washing onto beaches. Affected water can become temporarily discoloured and have an unpleasant smell.

Members of the public are advised to avoid direct contact with affected water. Direct contact may cause allergic reactions such as skin rashes or itchiness, sore ears or nose, or if swallowed, gastroenteritis, nausea and vomiting.

Wash immediately with fresh water if you come in contact with the algae-affected water. Seek medical advice if experiencing illness after contact with affected water.

Pet owners should prevent pets from having direct contact with the algae-affected water.

DELWP is monitoring coastal waters for blooms and will provide further information as the situation changes.

Waterway warnings are available via the VicEmergency app.

Victorian Fisheries Authority Life Saving Victoria Environment Protection Authority Victoria Victorian Department of Health & Human Services Great Ocean Road Coast Committee Vic Emergency
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