red tide around Sydney

Nerilie Abram nerilie.abram at
Mon Nov 4 20:05:18 EST 2002

Dear Dr Shinn,

I was very interested in the note that you sent to coral list last week. I
thought that you might like to know that since your note was posted a red
tide has broken out on the coast around Sydney, and as far north as Foster
(about 300kms north of Sydney). Red tides are very unusual in this area and
the media reports are drawing the link between the Sydney red tide and
nutrients from the dust storm that went through the region on 23rd October.
Another contributing factor could be from the nutrients in the smoke from
numerous bush fires that have been burning in this area since early
September - the smoke from these fires was particularly thick in Sydney
around 25th October.

Here is the story in one of the Sydney newspapers today:,5936,5422404%255E701,00.html

Incidentally, because of the El Nino drought in Australia at the moment
Sydney has had virtually no rain over the past couple of months and so it
would seen very unlikely that this red tide could have been driven by
nutrients entering the ocean via rivers and runoff.


Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 10:09:19 -0400
From: Gene Shinn <eshinn at>
Subject: Dust and Disease on the Great Barrier reef
Is everyone watching what is happening in Australia as we speak? Check
these images and read the press releases. Note the statement, "White
Syndrome outbreaks are happening in pristine areas of the Great Barrier
Reef, the AIMS teams says, on outer reefs untouched by coastal
and tourism. This means the reef diseases are not linked to pollution,
are other coral diseases around the world."

Nerilie Abram

Research School of Earth Sciences
Australian National University
ACT     0200    Australia

nerilie.abram at
Ph: +61 (2) 6125 5177
Fax: +61 (2) 6125 3683

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