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TOXIC TALES Come On In - The Water´s Lovely

Tuesday August 15, 2017

TOXIC TALES Come On In - The Water´s Lovely

The Canary Islands Tourist Board has officially denied that beaches across the archipelago are being closed due to the presence of toxic microlagaes.

Over the last week microalgae blooms have been spotted off the coast of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. And a media release, intended to dampen concerns, was issued yesterday, stating; 

"In response to continued international press reports about beach closures in the Canary Islands caused by 'toxic microalgae', the Canary Islands Government, via Health Minister José Manuel Baltar, has clarified that health and environmental experts guarantee that the presence of microalgal blooms at a small number of Canary Islands beaches is a sporadic and natural event caused by a rare combination of biological, environmental and climatological factors.

The microalgae is in no way connected to any form of pollution, has not led to the closure of any Canary Islands beaches, and is not toxic. This natural phenomenon, which is rare and sporadic, has not led to any bathing restrictions at Canary Islands beaches other than a small number of red flag events at a few beaches. When microalgae appears at a beach, driven ashore by the wind, waves and currents, it only affects a small area and then only for a short period.

The only effect of microalgae is skin irritation and the Canary Islands Health Authorities therefore recommend that people avoid direct skin contact with the blooms. These are easy to identify due to their characteristic appearance and colour. It must be noted that the Canary Islands Public Health System has not seen any variation in the number of reported cases of skin irritation since the start of the phenomenon."

The media statement was issued in response to reports in the British national press that beaches were being closed to tourists, with some outlets such as Sky News even going so far as linking the phenomenon to a totally unrelated sea lice incident in Australia.  Whislt the Scottish Sun (predictably) led with the hysterical headline that Brit bathers must stay out of the sea.

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