WITH the red tide bloom having decayed in most parts of Algoa Bay, swimmers in this weekend’s Spar River Mile Festival will have no reason to fear any lingering effects on the Sundays River.
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) estuarine ecology expert Professor Janine Adams said the large-scale bloom of Lingulodinium polyedrum had been present in both the Sundays River estuary mouth and the traditional home of the race, the Swartkops River.
Adams said the red tide had been localised below the N2 bridge in the Sundays River and that swimming above the bridge at Cannonville, where the race takes place, would be safe.
She said the bloom had largely died off and that the water should be safe for recreational use during South Africa’s oldest open-water swimming event. The bloom usually entered an estuary mouth with the high tide and appeared to leave on the low tide, but the movement was often unpredictable due to the dynamic nature of the coast and prevailing wind conditions, she said.
“Some of our researchers will be sampling the Sundays and Swartkops estuaries to get a clearer picture of the effects of the red tide.
“There may be a possibility of a future recurrence of this microalgae in these estuaries because of the availability of high nutrient concentrations,” Adams said.
Spar Eastern Cape marketing manager Abri Swart said it was great to receive the all-clear and Spar was looking forward to welcoming a large field of swimmers to the 90th anniversary edition of the event.
Enter at www.rivermile.co.za or find Spar EC in Action on Facebook for more information.