This orange algal bloom was photographed above Waipū Cove, Northland, in December 2002. Similar blooms closed shellfish beds in Auckland, Waikato and Taranaki. Some blooms are toxic, and anyone eating shellfish cultivated or gathered near a bloom risks poisoning. Algal blooms may be linked to changing sea temperatures, nutrients and sediments washing from the land into coastal waters, or to the nutrients in upwelling sea water.
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Photograph by Miriam Godfrey
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