That’s not Red Tide in Porpoise Bay
Photo from: Sunshine Coast Community Concerns & FYI Posts (Facebook)
There’s been some rusty, greasy water sitting in Porpoise Bay for the past couple of days.
Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program Coordinator and Fisheries Biologist, Elysha Gordon said it’s not red tide and it’s non-toxic.
“Although it is red and people automatically assume when they see red in the water it’s red tide, but what most people refer to as red tide is paralytic shellfish poisoning which is very toxic and can kill you if you eat clams or oysters or mussels that have it in it. But often it is colourless. This particular species of algae that you are seeing with this red, red colour more than likely would impact the fish by clogging their gills as opposed to being toxic in shellfish.”
Gordon said there is a large sanitary closure in Porpoise Bay and all bivalve shellfish are closed to harvesting, however areas that are not closed by sanitary closure in Porpoise Bay (Subarea 16-5) are currently open to the harvest of manila clams, littleneck clams, mussels and oysters only.
Gordon said there are a number of reasons why the red algae may have formed in the Bay, it’s not an uncommon type, however, it doesn’t usually appear until June or July.
She says it will likely move off in a couple of days.