Auckland Council has warned residents of Blackpool, Shelly Beach and Surfdale not to swim at their beaches and to avoid the mat of toxic black algae on their foreshores.

This follows revelations in the 2 March issue of Gulf News that the algae was potentially poisonous and marks an about-turn by the council, which had previously told residents it was their responsibility to clear the beaches.

Last week, Auckland Council came to the island to take samples from the algal mat that has been on the foreshores of Blackpool, Surfdale and Shelly Beach since November. The council requested additional toxins testing to be carried out on the algae previously identified as Lyngbya majuscula.

The Auckland Council Environmental Health team initially tested the algae on both Shelly Beach and Blackpool in December and found no toxins. But after more samples were taken last week, the results returned on Friday 10 March have confirmed the presence of lyngbyatoxin-A.

Auckland Council is now planning to remove the algae from both beaches.

Read the full story in Gulf News – out now!

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