Gippsland Lakes algal monitoring increased

LEVELS of the potentially toxic Pseudo-nitzschia diatom algal species have increased again in the Gippsland Lakes, but are below recreational health danger levels.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning algae coordinator, Anthony Costigan said water monitoring would now take place twice weekly and sampling of mussels would be undertaken to see if there is domoic acid present at levels that could affect human health.

“At this stage, the levels of Pseudo-nitzschia have increased at Eagle Point and Lake King Jetty and remain high at the two Ocean Grange sites,” Mr Costigan said. 

“The public will be further advised should toxin testing indicate development of any significant levels of toxin or public health risk.

“Recent experience with another Pseudo-nitzschia algal bloom of the same species suggests that toxin production is very unlikely to occur at this stage of the bloom, and therefore precautionary signage to restrict shellfish harvesting is not required at this time,” he said.

“Algal levels currently remain below the recreational health triggers.” 

If an algal bloom develops on the Gippsland Lakes, factsheets and maps will be available on the DELWP website and through local outlets, including local media and visitor information centres and tourism operators. 

It will also be posted on the DELWP Gippsland Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DELWPGippsland/