Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has urged beachgoers to not swim on parts of Gordon’s Bay Beach following a Red Tide.
The city’s plea comes after patches of red could visibly be seen in parts of the area's beachfront on Wednesday.
According to the city’s Mayco member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Eddie Andrews, the red tide is common this time of the year.
“The red tide is a normal part of our coastal environment and processes. Patches of red tide are common in the False Bay this time of the year,” Andrews says.
A red tide is a common term used for a harmful algal bloom which is caused by a rapid growth of algae that see the water change colour.
Andrews says that residents should now avoid swimming in the water or consuming any of the sea life from the area.
“No one should eat or consume shellfish (mussels) etc. where there has been a red tide. Swimming during a red tide is possible, although the city does not recommend it,” Andrews said.
“Should one swim during a red tide, one must not swallow any the water during the swim.”
Cape Argus arrived in Gordon’s Bay on Thursday, however, the red tide had cleared up overnight in parts of the area and there was no sign of the common odour that comes with it.
Meanwhile on Facebook, locals filled the comments section with their opinions regarding reddish pigment in the water.
Masudah Harris wrote: “My parents always used to say that when it's red tide, it's when the sea has its periods. It's cleansing itself.”
However, Chani Macauley added: “Our informal fish traders are also impacted. Be cautious about buying fish from informal fish traders during a red tide. The toxins produced by algae during red tide events can accumulate in shellfish and certain types of fish, potentially making them harmful for consumption.”
Andrews further told residents that the stench which comes along with a red tide will clear up soon. “With regards to the ‘stench’ - as the algae dies it produces a smell. It will clear by itself over time.