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Toxic Algae Wipes Out Fish in Two Fjords

August 8, 1989

BERGEN, Norway (AP) _ Toxic algae killed thousands of salmon as it spread through two western fjords and engulfed six fish farms, officials said Tuesday.

The algae, which kills fish by destroying their gills, is not believed to be harmful to humans, said Nils Torsvik of the Fisheries Directorate.

″No one knows if it will spread. It is behaving differently than anyone predicted. It is not acting like anything found in the textbooks,″ said Jon Lauritzen, a spokesman for the Fisheries Ministry.

A crisis team will monitor the algae, which was discovered a week ago in Ryfylke, an area of long fjords between the west coast cities of Stavanger and Bergen, Torsvik said. Other areas will also be tested, he said.

The algae thrives in brackish waters and has killed more than 400 tons of fish, including 100,000 salmon worth $2.15 million, Torsvik said.

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