Ugly seaweed washes up in Muri lagoon

Tuesday March 13, 2018 Written by Published in Environment
Seaweed washed up on the beach at Muri. More of the weed can be seen floating in the lagoon, which is still described in some tourist publications as “pristine”. 18030508 Seaweed washed up on the beach at Muri. More of the weed can be seen floating in the lagoon, which is still described in some tourist publications as “pristine”. 18030508

Current weather conditions are promoting the growth of seaweed (algae) which appears to be in bloom again in Muri lagoon.

 

Pictures recently taken by CI News suggest the algal bloom issue in the once-pristine lagoon is far from over.

According to Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR), the seaweed seen washed up on the beach at Muri belongs to two common species - turbinaria and boodlea. 

It was not uncommon to see seaweed growth during the summer months when warm temperatures, high rainfall and potentially low salinity promoted more growth, the ministry said.

Seaweed could also wash ashore from the reef front (where turbinaria often grows) after strong winds, it added.

“MMR is monitoring Muri lagoon for seaweed blooms and since January has been surveying the distribution and growth of seaweed across Rarotonga and will continue to conduct regular surveys noting the diversity and abundance of seaweed species,” the ministry said.

Meanwhile, a recently-completed study commissioned by MMR will contribute to government’s ongoing efforts to assess the environmental condition of Muri lagoon.

It includes a review of  the lagoon’s water quality, public health concerns, marine ecosystem biodiversity status and health, options for improvement and mitigation, and public awareness on the need for conservation.

More information on the final report of Interdisciplinary Assessment of Muri Lagoon will be published in Saturday’s CINews. 

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