top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Brittany's orange sea poses no danger to public

Unusual colour of water along beaches caused by natural phytoplankton

Waves lapping the beaches of southern Finistère turned an unusual shade orange at the weekend - but there is nothing to worry about, authorities have said.

Officials banned anyone from entering the sea for several hours on Saturday at Trégunc, Moëlan-sur-Mer and Clohars-Carnoët because of the strange colour of the water in several sections of beaches.

But investigations have confirmed that the effect has been caused by a perfectly natural phenomenon - a bloom of the phytoplankton Noctiluca scintillans.

The orange water may appear on beaches along the coast of neighbouring Morbihan in days to come. In a statement, a spokesperson for the prefecture said: "On the Breton coasts, the proliferation of phytoplankton does not present any particular danger for bathing activity."

But officials have issued the following advice.

  • Do not swim in areas of algae accumulation.
  • Take a shower after swimming.
  • Stop children ingesting seawater.
  • Avoid walking on areas with phytoplankton deposits due to a risk of falling.
  • Do not eat shellfish, crustaceans and dead fish.

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now