Lyngbya majuscula is a species of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) which occurs in Moreton Bay. Commonly found attached to seagrass beds, it grows in fine cotton wool-like strands 10 to 30cm in length.
Causes of Lyngbya blooms
Several environmental factors lead to rapid growth or blooms of Lyngbya. Increased Lyngbya growth requires water temperatures over 24°C and favourable light conditions.
Lyngbya growth also requires elevated levels of phosphorus, nitrogen, bio-available iron and dissolved organic matter in the water column.
Consequently, Lyngbya blooms only occur during the summer months under optimal growing conditions. The wool-like strands often clump together and rise to the surface forming large floating mats.
Avoid contact with Lyngbya
Lyngbya material originating from floating mats sometimes washes up on beaches in large quantities. When people come into direct contact with Lyngbya, either in the water or on land, the toxins present in the cyanobacteria can cause skin or eye irritation.
Therefore, it is recommended to avoid all contact with algal material on the beach or in the water where Lyngbya is suspected to be present.
If Lyngbya material is sighted on beaches, contact Council.
Council's response to harmful algal blooms
Council's Harmful algal bloom response plan(PDF, 737KB) provides a framework for effective and efficient response to harmful algal blooms.
It assists Council to fulfil its regional and State obligations for mitigating the impacts of harmful algal blooms.
It outlines the responsibilities and delegates specific actions to Council Units in case a bloom affects beaches or other areas under Council’s control.
Specific actions include activating and erecting warning signs, clean up procedures and circulation of appropriate media releases.
A detached piece of Lyngbya
Lyngbya washed upon the beach
Floating Lyngbya mat
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