The recent high temperatures have caused an algal bloom in Plymouth’s waterfront, including Sutton Harbour.
The algae is a natural substance and floats on top of the water, sometimes clinging to harbour walls and marina pontoons.
Given its unsightly appearance in Plymouth’s waterfront including in Sutton Harbour alongside the Barbican, Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc has tasked its litter boat with removing as much of the algae as possible to keep the city’s prime waterfront looking clean and tidy.
Pete Bromley, Harbour Master of Sutton Harbour, said: “The warmer weather has created the perfect breeding ground for the photosynthetic organisms to grow, as algae requires warmth, sunlight and nutrients to reproduce. This particular type of algae forms the basis of the aquatic food chain.
“Some people have been understandably concerned by its appearance in the water however, as to the untrained eye it can make the water look dirty, so the Sutton Harbour Holdings litter boat has been working hard to clear algae and maintain a clean and tidy waterfront.”
Last year, Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc invested £38,000 in a specialist harbour cleaning vessel to help keep Plymouth’s waterfront clear of rubbish.
The company already spends more than £50,000 a year on litter collection and removal services to cover the cost of running a litter boat to pick up rubbish which is blown – or sometimes deliberately thrown – into the harbour.
The algal bloom is being tackled by cleaning crews, and Sutton Harbour Holdings Plc has notified both the Environment Agency and the Department of Public Health at Plymouth City Council.
Algae is usually composed of either phytoplankton (microscopic algae) floating in the water column, or macro algae (seaweed) growing on the seabed. Different species bloom at various points of the year, depending on the environmental conditions.
You can alert the Sutton Harbour cleaning team to a litter problem in the water by emailing email@example.com