At the height of the tourist season a vast red tide algae bloom is threatening the multimillion dollar shellfish industry on the Atlantic seaboard of Ireland. In mid-July the bloom spread into Donegal bay, closing two beaches, and moved across Mayo, into Kerry and Cork and in parts of Clare and Galway.
The bloom has destroyed from 20% to 80% of the stock in shellfish farms with oyster beds being the worst hit. Thousands of lugworms have been killed; cockles and oysters are also falling victim. Beaches have been closed because of the amount of dead fish washed on to the shore.
It is the worst algal bloom seen in Donegal in seven years.