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Harmful algae

Harmful algal blooms (also referred to as 'phytoplankton blooms', 'microalgal blooms', 'toxic algae' or 'red tides') are common seasonal events in both fresh and coastal marine waters throughout Queensland.

Blooms caused by organisms including cyanobacteria, diatoms and dinoflagellates may pose a direct threat to human and animal health, and can have:

  • economic impacts (e.g. significant increase in the cost of treating the water supply; the need to use alternate supplies)
  • social impacts (e.g. disruption of recreational use of waterways)
  • environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems.

This guide contains useful information about algal blooms, and who to contact if you discover an outbreak near you.

Response plan

To reduce the risk to humans, livestock and wildlife, there is a coordinated response to harmful algal blooms under the Queensland harmful algal bloom response plan.

The harmful algal bloom operational procedures support the plan.

Harmful algae Guide

In this guide:

  1. Blue-green algae in freshwater
  2. Reporting outbreaks
  3. Health effects
  4. Livestock and farm dams