‘Tis the season for algae stench

IT’S NATURAL, it’s cyclical and it can be a bit smelly. The build-up of algae and seagrass is again under scrutiny by the Fraser Coast council with the region’s beaches constantly monitored.

Northerly winds regularly wash the patches into the shallows at this time of year and the council’s environmental sustainability portfolio chair, Sue Brooks, doesn’t believe 2009 will be any different.

“The weed appears on the beach every year at this time and is a natural and recurring event,” she said.

In the past, because of the smell, residents have asked the council to remove the material from the beach.

Ms Brooks said the marine plants were an important part of the fisheries habitat and were protected under State Government legislation.

“They grow and bloom as the sea water warms and conditions become favourable.”

As part of the council’s monitoring program, which runs between October and March, samples of the material are sent to specialists for identification.

Because some algae can be considered a health threat to humans, the council can negotiate with the State Government to have the material removed if harmful species are discovered.

Before it can remove the material the council has to get permission from Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries and the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management.



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