Mussels make their mark on Muizenberg beach

2015-06-15 19:47
(Jaco Marais, Foto24)

(Jaco Marais, Foto24)

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Cape Town - Thousands of mussels and other small sea creatures may have washed up on Muizenberg beach because of nature’s physical pull, a marine scientist said on Monday.

“I assume it was from the rocky shores or some offshore reef and got pushed along because of a super high tide, together with a storm,” said Dr Neville Sweijd, who manages the Applied Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science (ACCESS).

“It’s probably a sign of a healthy eco-system because there is an excess amount of biomass."

Sweijd, who lives in the area, said he was walking on the beach a week ago when he got his first sight of the phenomenon.

He spotted various mussel species, including the black mussel, as well as whelks (sea snails) and red bait (sea squirts).

The mussels were viable and alive at the time, which pointed to a natural event and not a red tide or something sinister, he said.

“I don’t suspect that this is a toxic event. If it was one species and they were all dead and vrot, I would say, okay it’s something else.

Asked whether it was okay to eat fresh sea creatures that had washed up, he said he would not eat something that he hadn’t himself caught in the sea.

Read more on:    cape town  |  environment

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