Kelly Maher and kids Khloe and Kyle were unable to swim at Jack Evans Boat Harbour.
Kelly Maher and kids Khloe and Kyle were unable to swim at Jack Evans Boat Harbour.

Algae’s a blooming nuisance around Tweed and Kingscliff

TWEED mum Kelly Maher was stunned when she arrived at Jack Evans Boat Harbour to swim with her kids only to discover it's currently off limits because of algae.

Turns out swimming in some Tweed Heads and Kingscliff spots could put you at risk of skin rashes, asthma and eye and ear irritations thanks to marine algal blooms.

"We didn't know," a disappointed Ms Maher said about the algae.

"We usually come here to swim and now we can't."

Many residents were unaware of the algae warning.

Tweed resident Jaqui McCarthy said: "I have a lot of severe allergies and I could have gone into anaphylactic shock if I'd swum here which I was planning on doing."

The council has placed a sign in the harbour warning of serious harm to humans and animals.

Trevor "Big Trev" Arbon, who runs a watersports business in the harbour, was also caught unaware.

"People said there was a sign somewhere over there on the other side but we didn't know anything about it," Big Trev said.

A warning issued by the NSW Government on Wednesday advised people not to eat shellfish collected in the area as some studies suggest that small amounts of toxins could enter seafood flesh.

Dr Paul Wright of the Tweed Laboratory Centre, said that the algae often appears as a thick green scum but could be red, purple or white and could look like scum, oil or paint.

He said the algae was quite common and could be seen across the Eastern Seaboard.

"It originates in the ocean but then finds its way into the estuaries and canals where it is often warmer and there is more nutrient for them to bloom."

To report algae in your area, phone Tweed Shire Council's environmental health services, 02 6670 2400.

look out

Algae warnings in the Tweed shire include:

  • Jack Evans Boat Harbour
  • Cudgen Creek
  • Canal behind Shearwater Pde, Tweed Heads


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