What is all that stink about?

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    The large mats of black sludge that have been predominantly resting at Blackpool Beach and Shelly Beach for over three months have lately filled the island with a sulphur-type pong.

    Neighbours of Surfdale and Oneroa say they have tried to remove the algae manually with buckets but it’s too heavy and it’s not that easy to move around. They also say it is too slippery, and birds don’t come near the black sludge.

    “Most of the algae now is on the western end of the beach,” says Surfdale resident Steve Brennan.

    “The smell is extremely unpleasant, and a neighbour told me the birds have stopped coming around the area where the algae is.”

    Auckland Council visited the area after Christmas last year to test the black algae, and their conclusion was that the mysterious sludge was lyngbya majuscula. At the time, the sample didn’t test positive for a range of toxins.

    Later, in January, an environmental health team visited both beaches to take another sample and placed warning signs to prevent beachgoers from visiting them.

    According to Australian Rivers Institute Michelle Bufford, who wrote an article about large amounts of lyngbya majuscula washed up on Moreton Bay, Australia, this is a toxic blue-green alga.

    Full story in this week’s Gulf Nes… Out Now!!!

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