Red algae blooms - why?

wildenstein8's picture
wildenstein8 started the topic in Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 at 3:09pm

Why is the east coast having red algal blooms now? Is it coincidence or something more sinister? On Monday there was one at Sydney then Lorne now Torquay. It's a long way from Sydney to the Surf Coast so how connected can they be - seasonal maybe??

I imagine the answer is going to be long-winded and nerdy thing but Im still keen to know.

scoopmaster's picture
scoopmaster's picture
scoopmaster Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 at 3:39pm

This time of year the East Australian Current is bringing warm water down the NSW coast mixing with the cooler water remaining from winter.

I don't know whether the mixing of currents encourages the blooms but wouldn't be surprised if it did. I have often witnessed red algal blooms on a smaller scale following heavy rainfall, though that wouldn't be the case this time. Spearfishing in that algae had no noticeable effect on me, so it wouldn't concern me to surf currently.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 at 7:08pm

I think the recent blooms in Sydney and Victoria where kicked off by recent rainfalls and excess nutrients entering the ocean.

The phytoplankton which are going nuts anyway because of the time of year/upwelling etc are given extra material to feed off and then go absolutely burko.

Much like giving fertiliser to a plant and seeing it shoot up rapidly.

So the excess nutrients are causing this boost in growth and it makes them visible to us due to the large amounts of them.

They're red anyway but usually we can't see them due to the low concentrations.

anton-chigurh's picture
anton-chigurh's picture
anton-chigurh Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 at 8:19pm

Apparently this algae glows fluro blue at night when agitated in the waves . fuck, where"s the acid.See u at the beach tonight