UPDATE: Tests detect “toxic organisms” in Algarve’s ‘red tide’

Tests have confirmed the presence of “toxic organisms” in the samples of water that were collected from the Algarve’s ‘sea of red’. However, it is still unclear just how toxic they are and what effect they’d have on people (click here).

A meeting is due to be held today at the headquarters of the Algarve delegation of the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA) to decide whether the swimming ban which has been in place this week between Faro and Vilamoura will be lifted.

The microalgae were first detected on Sunday by the Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA). Due to the agency’s concerns about their potential negative effects, the national maritime authority (AMN) placed a swimming ban on all beaches between Ilha de Faro and Praia da Rocha Baixinha.

The swimming ban has not been very significant as the rainy weather has been keeping beachgoers away anyway.

Meantime, the Portuguese sea and atmosphere institute (IPMA) has also banned the capture of bivalves (shellfish) between Olhão and Lagos.

Algarve tourism boss João Fernandes says that the regional tourism board (RTA) is following the situation closely but that he does not believe it will have a significant negative impact.

In fact, he says he has been in contact with tour operators and members of international press to avoid “unjustified concerns”. Either way, authorities believe that this red tide will disappear sooner rather than later.

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