Algae at Spiggie

SHETLAND’S environmental health team is warning that there may be algae growth at Spiggie Loch in the south mainland.

The local authority department said sampling was being arranged by SEPA and results will be released as soon as they are available.

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


Adjoining landowners and fishing interests have been advised of the situation, as has SEPA and the NHS Shetland board.

An SIC statement said there was no adverse effect on water supplies at this stage.

Blue-green algae exist in fresh waters in Britain and throughout the world. They are noticed when their concentration increases to form “blooms”, when they form scums – looking like blue-green paint – or when they collect on the shore line.

Contact with some blue-green algae can cause medical effects, with some people suffering skin rashes, eye irritations, vomiting and diarrhoea, fever and pains in muscles and joints, while toxic algae can also kill livestock and dogs.