Glowing bioluminescence lures hundreds of visitors to Mindarie Marina

Connolly photographer Ian McCamley captured this photo of Mindarie resident Ian McDonald throwing a net into the water, creating the bioluminescent glow.
Connolly photographer Ian McCamley captured this photo of Mindarie resident Ian McDonald throwing a net into the water, creating the bioluminescent glow.

GLOWING bioluminescence has lured hundreds of people to Mindarie Marina in recent days to experience the phenomena.

The appearance of the blue glow coincided with a Health Department warning about eating fish, crabs and shellfish caught in the marina on November 21.

Testing showed potentially toxic microscopic algae at elevated levels and the department warned that consuming the seafood could result in paralytic shellfish poisoning, which may cause muscular paralysis.

Connolly photographer Ian McCamley captured these stunning photos at the weekend between 10pm and 1am.

Mr McCamley captured this photo in two stages, first pouring water on the boardwalk which left a trail before splashing into the water below, then trailed a stick through the water causing it to glow.

He used a longer exposure of a net cast into the water for this shot, which also shows the glow from the descending weights and net.
Mr McCamley said this effect was caused by dragging a stick through the water.

Mindarie resident Ian McDonald said it was the third year he had seen the bioluminescence and it had lasted about three weeks so far.

“I’ve never seen the place so busy,” he said.

Mr McDonald said people should not throw rocks or sticks into the water, as it created tripping hazards and affected the fish.

“When I first saw the bloom… samson fish came in there and rounded the mullet up – it lit up the whole area,” he said.

“Noone is ever going to get to see that because hundreds of people have thrown rocks in the water and it spooked the fish.”

Ian McDonald said he has never seen the marina so busy with visitors keen to see the bioluminescence at night.
Pouring water on rocks can cause the glow. Picture: Ian McDonald

However, Mr McDonald said many people had taken the right approach by using buckets, paddles, fishing rods or sticks to stir up the glow.

“I’ve seen plenty of people there with a bucket – that’s the best way to see it; scoop a bucket up and pour it back in,” he said.

“People are getting sticks and stuff and just drawing in it and that’s fine as long as they don’t throw them in afterwards.”

Mr McCamley had fun creating this photo when he filled a big bucket of water and then slowly poured it onto a rock causing a glowing cascade.

Mr McCamley said he took most of his photos by pouring water or dragging sticks through the water, and he tried a watering can and water gun to create different effects.

“Long exposures of around five to 10 seconds were needed to capture all the action,” he said.

“The exception was the images of a net being cast – one of those was a short exposure just capturing the moment the net splashed down.

“The other was about two seconds and it also captured the bioluminescence caused by the sinking weights.

“It was great fun, and quite a challenge, to take photos of this memorable event.

“I don’t think I’ll forget my child-like excitement upon seeing the glowing water for the first time; it was quite magical.

“It obviously had similar impacts on most people who saw it for the first time, based on all the other child-like squeals I could hear as new people arrived.”

READ MORE: Algal bloom creates glowing photo opportunity

Mr McDonald, who threw the fishing net for some of Mr McCamley’s photos, said he had been working with Dalcon Environmental to research the algal bloom.

He said it was starting to affect marine life, and he’d seen dead fish wash up on the shore this week.

Mr McDonald has also spoken to the marina management about opening a channel from the children’s swimming beach to the ocean to allow the marina to flush out.

“The seaweed comes in around this time every year,” the videographer said – see aerial footage of the 2016 algal bloom here.

Mr McDonald said he and a neighbour suffered infections when they waded in the water with open wounds.

A Health Department spokeswoman said there were no known health concerns with regard to people swimming or wading in the water, but advice remained about eating seafood collected in the marina.

The Health Department issued a warning about eating seafood collected in the marina on November 21.

Acting WA Health environmental health executive director Richard Theobald said poisoning symptoms included tingling or numbness of the lips, prickliness of the fingertips and toes, nausea or vomiting, impaired balance, dizziness, slurred speech, double vision, weakness, difficulty in swallowing or breathing, loss of fluids and diarrhoea.

“Anyone who has consumed shellfish, crabs or fish collected from the marina and experiences any of these symptoms should seek urgent medical attention,” he said.

Bionluminesense at Mindarie Marina #perth #perthisok #perthnow #icwest #mindarie #mindariemarina #perthect #australiagram #marina #sun7 #pertheveryday

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Having fun playing with glowing water! #bioluminescence #landscape #nightshot #nightphotography #longexposure #seascape #canon #canon5dmarkiv

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A squiggle of blue glowing algae 💧so much fun to play in!

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A rare phenomenon at the Mindarie Marina. Bioluminescence, also known as sea sparkle! It is so beautiful to watch, the kids thought it was like magic. #waterchoice #filteredwater #drinkwater #hydrate #reverseosmosis #bioluminescence #seasparkle #mindariemarina #ocean #perthisok #anotherdayinwa #nature #adventure #outdoors #magic #bluewater  #mindarie

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. Finally got to experience bioluminescence in person the other night in the last place I expected to travel to see it… just up the road in Perth! It wasn't the most photogenic location but hay #makethemostofwhatyougot _____________________________ #landscape #landscapephotography #landscape_photography #landscape_captures #bioluminescence #lightitup #lightup #blue #mindarie #seascape #westernaustralia #australia #perth #glow

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@psychedelicdj having fun with the bioluminescent algae. Currently there is an algal bloom in the harbour that can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, but on the flip side it also produces this. #bioluminescence

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Some of my favorite photographs taken from our spontaneous road trip last night looking at the bioluminscent waters up north <3 Thank you @warsamma and @sasismadas for encouraging me to go out tonight. More photographs to come :D . . . . . . . . #photo #photography #canon #bioluminscent #bioluminscence #blue #water #glow #night #mindarie #marina #perth #australia #splash #roadtrip #phytoplankton #perthisok

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