Toxic algal blooms detected off northern shore of Saaremaa

7/28/2016 12:23 PM
Category: News

Blooms of the toxic cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena have been detected on beaches in the Leisi and Orissaare areas of Saaremaa's northern and northeastern coast.

According to marine biologist Annely Enke, the bacteria detected was the Nodularia spumigena, locally referred to as the "Baltic terror" as it is the most toxic cyanobacterium found in Estonian waters, reported regional Estonian daily Meie Maa.

"This was not currently an official analysis; I was given a sample of water in a bottle and using a microscope I confirmed the presence of Nodularia spumigena," explained the marine biologist, noting that this particular type of bacteria was toxic.

Nodularia spumigena produces Nodularin-R, a potent hepatotoxin capable of causing serious damage to the liver and kidneys in humans and other animals. The toxin is not generally fatal to humans, however it can prove deadly if ingested by livestock, for example, or dogs licking their fur after swimming in waters where the bacteria is present.

Editor: Aili Sarapik

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