The red colouring of the water seems to have subsided in some areas of the Garden Route, but Authorities would like water sample results to confirm whether the algal bloom is, in fact, subsiding.
‘According to SANParks Marine Ranger, Owen Govender, 4 water samples collected thus far are adequate to make this decision.’ Professor Brian Allanson of the Knysna Basin Project will confirm this weekend.
The Eden District Municipality’s Health Division has also visited numerous health facilities including pharmacies, hospitals, clinics in the Garden Route to ascertain if there are any cases of PSP (Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning) reported. There have been no cases thus far.
Authorities (SANParks, Eden District Municipality, Knysna Municipality and the Knysna Basin Project) are advising all users of the coastal environment not to collect shellfish or eat any fish that wash up on the shore.
Professor Allanson explains why shellfish should not be consumed when there is a red tide ‘because they are filter feeders they collect fine particles upon which they feed. The toxins in the dinoflagetllate cells are not toxic to the shellfish, but because they accumulate particles on their gills and gastric glands, if the particles are toxic, then this makes shellfish toxic as well to its consumers.’
The Lagoon swim expected in the Knysna estuary continues tomorrow (Saturday) and other related events this weekend.
Some symptoms of PSP which can be evident after 10- 30 minutes of consumption include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, tingling/ burning lips, gums, face, neck, arms, legs, shortness of breath, confused, slurred speech (undersea & hyperbaric medicine journal 26 (3), 1999