Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Testing Confirms Disappearance Of Blue-Green Algae


January 11 2013

Testing Confirms Disappearance Of Blue-Green Algae

A potentially toxic blue-green algae which emerged in some Otago waterways in December has dissipated.

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) had issued warnings to the public to keep their distance from Lake Waihola, the Tomahawk lagoon, and the Taieri River at Henley because of the presence of the algae.

When present, the blue-green algae can produce toxins which can cause illness, irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth in people.

ORC manager resource science Matt Hickey said water sampling at the three locations this week confirmed that the blue-green algae had dissipated, reducing the potential risk to people and animals of illness through contact with the algae.

Mr Hickey said that while this was good news for people frequenting Lake Waihola, the Tomahawk lagoon, and the Taieri River at Henley, they still needed to be alert to the possible presence of another kind of potentially toxic algae known as Phormidium.

Unlike the blue green algae which has caused problems in Lake Waihola and Tomahawk lagoon. Phormidium is found in rivers and streams, and typically forms a thick brown-black slimy algae mat found on large rocks, stones, and cobbles.

If the mats detach, they may float downstream to become caught up in other debris such as sticks. When the Phormidium mats die and dry out, they become light brown or white. Either fresh or dried, the algae can be highly toxic and potentially harm animals and people.

Dogs are particularly susceptible to poisoning from both mat-forming and free-floating toxic algae.

“Many dogs enjoy being in the water and can eat these algae intentionally or by accident, which can have tragic results,” Mr Hickey said.

Symptoms of poisoning in animals exposed to the type of toxins present in Phormidium include lethargy, muscle tremors, fast breathing, twitching, paralysis, and convulsions. In extreme cases, death can occur within 30 minutes after signs first appear.

Where humans become ill or are suspected of being ill after swallowing water containing algal bloom, medical advice should be sought immediately. Likewise, if animals become sick, a veterinarian should be contacted.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


P Policy: $15m Allocated To Tackling Drug Abuse

Almost $15 million dollars seized from criminals will be invested in anti-drug initiatives, with more funding for Police and Customs and a greater focus on treatment for drug abusers, Prime Minister John Key says. More>>


More Or Less Democratic Countries: Fiji Prime Minister To Visit NZ

“This will be Prime Minister Bainimarama’s first official visit to New Zealand as Fiji’s Prime Minister,” Mr Key says. “New Zealand and Fiji have strong ties in a range of areas, and the Prime Minister’s visit presents a further opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest.” More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news