Blue-green algae and toxin threat on Lewis

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Recent samples taken at Loch an Duna, Bragar, Isle of Lewis, have indicated the presence of blue-green algae.

Swallowing the water or algal scum can cause stomach upsets or more serious health effects and can be lethal for dogs.

Contact with the water or algal scum can cause skin problems. It is a sensible precaution for you, your children and your animals to avoid contact with the scum and the water close to it. Dog owners are advised not to let their dogs into the water.

As a precautionary measure, notices will be posted next to the loch warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided.

Adjoining landowners and fishing interests have been advised of the situation as have NHS Western Isles and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Consumer and Environmental Services Section.

For further information, contact the Environmental Health Team of Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar on 01851 822694. Please leave a voicemail.

High levels of shellfish toxins

Monitoring work undertaken on behalf of Food Standards Scotland has identified raised levels of shellfish toxins in Loch Leurbost in Lewis and Loch Seaforth and East Loch Tarbert in Harris.

Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles or razor fish from these areas may pose a risk to human health. Commercial shellfish harvesters in these areas have been contacted by the comhairle and steps have been taken to postpone harvesting until toxin levels subside.

It is a sensible precaution to avoid eating shellfish from these lochs until further notice.