Mysterious orange substance on beach ‘likely algae’

Semiahmoo First Nation councillor Joanna Charles said algae is Fisheries and Oceans Canada's 'best guess'

There’s no official word for what mystery substance turned half a mile of Semiahmoo First Nation’s beach bright orange last month.

But SFN councillor Joanne Charles said the best guess of a Fisheries and Oceans Canada officer was that it was a form of ‘dinoflagelate’ algae, rather than a chemical spill.

Charles said she reported the glowing, jelly-like substance, visible just under the water May 20, but that it dissipated that day.

Charles said no one she talked to recalls a similar phenomena.

“I’ve heard from fishermen in the Salish Sea, members of our American family, that they have encountered large plumes of algae in the water and when they caught fish in the past, but that it was black – that’s why we didn’t think it was algae, unless it’s something to do with what’s going on in the oceans right now,” Charles said.

The DFO website recommends calling the Canadian Coast Guard’s 24-hour environmental response line (1-800-889-8852) in case of suspected marine pollution.

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