Toxic algae closes beaches

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

A swimming ban at several beaches in the Lagos and Vila do Bispo area due to the presence of a toxic algae in the water has now been lifted.

The algae, ostreopsis, produces toxins that can cause respiratory problems, dermatitis and conjunctivitis in people. 

According to local authorities, this kind of algae exists on the coast of Morocco and rarely reaches the Portuguese coast.

The Algarve water authority (ARH) in conjunction with the Regional Health Department, the Fisheries and Sea Research Institute (IPIMAR), and local maritime police, decided to close the beaches of D. Ana, Camilo, Porto de Mós, Luz, Cabanas Velhas, Burgau, Salema, Boca do Rio, Furnas, Zavial and Ingrina on September 23 after water analysis was carried out. 

New analysis carried out on September 26 showed that the water toxicity levels were back to normal and swimmers could go back into sea.

Portimão and Lagos Maritime Police Commander Cruz Martins told the Algarve Resident: “This algae was detected by IPIMAR during a periodic observation to the sea water on these beaches, which has revealed high toxicity levels.

“The swimming ban on these beaches was lifted on September 27 after the analysis showed that the water was no longer a danger for the health of people.”

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