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.

Algal blooms caused by organisms may pose a direct threat to human and animal health, and can have:

  • economic impacts (e.g. increased cost of treating the water supply or the need to use alternative supplies)
  • social impacts (e.g. disrupted recreational use of waterways)
  • environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems.

Queensland government response plan

To reduce the risk to human and animal health and to support a coordinated multi-agency response, the Queensland harmful algal bloom response plan was developed. This response plan is supported by the Queensland harmful algal bloom operational procedures.

Both the response plan and the operational procedures are under review; however, this guide provides information about algal blooms and contacts to report outbreaks.

Harmful algae

In this guide:

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

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