news from the island
Algae Alert For Island's Beaches

Monday October 3, 2011

Algae Alert For Island's Beaches

Swimming off a number of beaches on Lanzarote was prohibited yesterday, Sunday 2nd October, after a form of algae which may be toxic to humans was discovered in waters around the island. All the beaches in the municipalities of Haria, Tias and Teguise were closed yesterday to both swimmers and those looking to go fishing.

The alert was given by the emergency services yesterday morning after a large mass of algae was noticed in the water at the beach at Playa Las Cucharas in Costa Teguise. The decision to extend the beach closure then spread to Playa La Garita in Arrieta and the swimming pools along the coast of Punta Mujeres with Tias and the rest of Teguise following suite shortly afterwards.

This comes several weeks after a similar alga was found in the sea around Gran Canaria, which also led to beach closures and samples being sent away for analysis. It is believed that there may be ciguatoxins found in the alga, which can lead to symptoms similar to food poisoning. This form of toxin is usually found in fish that feed on reefs where dinoflagellates, a simple organism similar to plankton, is rife and which the fish live upon.

Tourists are advised to stay out of the water on beaches wherever a red flag is being displayed.

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