Algal bloom spreads along coast

An algal bloom blamed for killing worms, sea urchins and other sea creatures has spread along the west coast of Scotland.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency, (Sepa), said the bloom was now in Loch Ryan in Dumfries and Galloway.

If follows reports last week of the same issue affecting waters at Bute, Ayr, Prestwick and West Kilbride.

Sepa said the bloom was likely to be dispersed by the tide and was no danger to humans or other mammals.

Sepa’s Alistair McNeill said the number of dead sea invertebrates had caused public concern.

“Understandably people were worried that this was the result of a pollution incident, but it appears that this is a natural phenomenon,” he said.

“This plankton was linked with similar problems elsewhere in Scotland in 2006.

“The bloom is likely to disperse naturally with tidal movement and under the influence of changing weather patterns.”

A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway Council’s environmental standards department said there was currently “no risk to public health”.