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Algal bloom update no. 5

The Department of Health (DoH) has extended its warning regarding the toxic Alexandrium algal bloom in the Swan and Canning rivers.  DoH is advising people not to eat fish, crabs or shellfish collected from within the following waterways:

Swan River – from Pelican Point, Crawley to the South of Perth Yacht Club, Applecross and upstream to Middle Swan (Reid Highway) Bridge, Middle Swan (this includes the commonly known areas of Como Jetty, Matilda Bay, Perth Waters, Elizabeth Quay, Barrack Street Jetty, Claisebrook Cove, Maylands Yacht Club, Ascot Waters, Hind Reserve, Riverside Gardens, Garvey Park, Sandy Beach Reserve, Point Reserve, Kings Meadow, Fish Market Reserve and Woodbridge Riverside Park).

Canning River – from the South of Perth Yacht Club and upstream to Kent Street Weir (this includes commonly known areas of Canning Bridge, Mt Henry Bridge, Salter Point, Shelley Bridge, Riverton Bridge, and Castledare).

A map of the impacted area is attached. 

Alexandrium toxins can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning and cooking will not destroy these toxins.

Please see the latest DoH media statement here.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions continues to conduct weekly water quality monitoring at an increased number of sites to track the extent of the bloom. We are also testing mussels and crabs for the Alexandrium toxin. DoH and local riverfront councils have arranged for health warning signs advising against crabbing, shellfish collection and fishing to be erected at key riverfront locations including jetties, boat ramps and key accessible foreshore areas within the affected region. It should be noted that swimming and other aquatic recreational activities on the Swan and Canning rivers are not impacted by the algal bloom, but as a general rule swimming should be avoided in areas of discoloured water.

Further information is provided in detailed FAQ’s available at https://www.dbca.wa.gov.au/science/riverpark-monitoring

New research in to our resident dolphins worth tuning in to

Tuning in to the signature ‘whistles’ of dolphins could prove a game-changer in being able to accurately track the movements of this much-loved protected species.

Up until now, we've been totally reliant upon visual surveys, both on boats and by our Dolphin Watch volunteers. 

Our scientists and citizen scientists are reliant upon seeing visible nicks and notches in the dorsal fins of individuals to be able to accurately identify them. Due to spending limited time at the surface, this can be extremely challenging at times.

Exciting new research out of Edith Cowan and Curtin universities explores the theory that individual dolphins have a unique signature whistle that can help us identify them without laying eyes on them. 

Dolphin Watch and ECU researcher Associate Professor Chandra Salgado Kent said the project could have significant implications for dolphin conservation.

“Our ultimate aim is to track the movements of individual dolphins through underwater acoustic recorders,” Professor Salgado Kent said.

Sounds interesting, right? Read the full paper here.