These aerial photographs show one of the UK’s most popular angling destinations gripped by a natural phenomenon toxic to humans.
A massive bloom of blue green algae has seen sections of the Norfolk Broads turned bright green as the dangerous organism thrives in the sustained hot weather conditions.
So far the worst affecting areas of the broads system are Ranworth, Malthouse, Barton and Hickling Broads, with fears mounting over the bloom’s impact on fish stocks in the area.
“There are loads of different types of blue green algae around and without examining it myself it’s difficult to know exactly what we’re dealing with, but none of them are particularly nice,” top fisheries scientist Simon Scott of Sparsholt College told Angling Times.
“It isn’t normally damaging to fish, but there is the danger that a large crash in the bloom as the algae dies could lead to de-oxygenation of the water as the organic matter rots. At that point fish kills can occur.”
Working at broads boat hire company George Smith and Sons based at Wroxham, local pike angler Ian Prophet knows the waters around there well, and admits he hasn’t seen a ‘bloom this bad for years’.
“It’s not been like this for years,” he told AT. “We’re advising all anglers who hire our boats to avoid it if they can, it can be nasty stuff if you get it on your hands. It doesn’t seem to effect the fishing though. A few guys have fished on the bloom areas and still caught.”