Algae wipes out 80,000 salmon in Ireland

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An estimated 80,000 farmed salmon worth up to €2.4 million have been wiped out by a massive toxic algal bloom off of Cork, in the south of Ireland.

According to the Irish Examiner, scientists from the Irish Marine Institute (MI) and other experts are now investigating the incident which devastated stock at Mowi Ireland’s fish farm operations in Bantry Bay.

On Thursday, Mowi confirmed that its Ahabeg and Roancarrig sites in Bantry Bay were both affected by the toxic bloom in late October.

The naturally occurring bloom was exacerbated by warmer waters, the company said.

The average water temperature in the bay is around 11.5C but it was hovering close to 13C in recent days.

The Marine Institute warned last March that harmful algal bloom patterns in Irish marine waters are changing because of climate change.

A spokesperson said a phytoplankton bloom is currently being observed in the southwest, leading to a brown water discolouration in some areas.

“The Marine Institute is working on identifying the causative species of the bloom,” she said.