Red tide hits Cape west coast town

It is unsafe to eat kreef affected by red tide.
Image: Cederberg Local Municipality

The Cederberg Municipality has warned local residents not to collect any west coast rock lobster that has walked out on the beaches around Elandsbaai on the West Coast.

The kreef ‘walkout’, a natural phenomenon caused by ‘red tide’, attracted much attention, including from some visitors who gathered up some kreef for personal consumption. However government officials were deployed to warn visitors to keep hands off.

The municipality said “tons” of kreef had walked out since Friday night.

“This is because of the red tide and the shortage of oxygen under the water,” the municipality said in a Facebook post. “People of the community came aggressively to collect the crayfish but the police acted quickly to stop them.”

Some Facebook commentators criticised the police intervention and said the kreef should be made available for local consumption. However other respondents pointed out that red tide, which is caused by algal blooms, can produce toxins absorbed by sea life and then be passed on to humans.

BY BOBBY JORDAN

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