Toxic algae warning at Spiggie

THE APPEARANCE of a suspected toxic algal bloom on a popular loch in Shetland has led to warnings from the local authority for people to be careful.

Environmental health inspectors have taken samples from Spiggie Loch, in the south mainland, which are being tested to see if they are blue green algae.

As a precautionary measure, notices have been posted in local shops and next to the loch warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided.

Adjoining landowners and fishing interests are also being advised of the situation, along with Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and NHS Shetland, though the local water supply has not been affected.

The algae looks like a scum of blue green paint on the surface of the loch and can lead to skin rashes, eye irritations, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever and pains in muscles and joints. Algae has also been known to kill livestock and dogs.