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1. Staying safe on the water this Easter - From Australian Sailing
2. Algae bloom on the Swan & Canning Rivers - from Dept. Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
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1. The Easter break is traditionally a time many of us get together with loved ones and spend time enjoying the many outdoor activities Australia has to offer at this time of year. This of course includes many families making a holiday tradition of spending a day racing their dinghies or cruising your local waterway and dropping anchor at your favourite spot for lunch.

This Easter is unfortunately no traditional Easter. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic Australians are being required by Government at all levels to stay home and stay safe to prevent the spread of the virus.

There remains varying State Government guidance regarding whether sailing is considered a reasonable reason to leave home. In some states, sailing is considered an essential form of exercise, so we encourage sailors to check their local guidelines which are outlined in the links below to help inform that decision if required.

Whilst the decision on whether or not to go sailing in the jurisdictions where it is permitted will ultimately fall to the individual, we do remind you that it should only be done if absolutely necessary and to abide by good social distancing practices when you do. Please also consider that there are expected to be police and maritime agency patrols this weekend enforcing the regulations.

It will be a long road to recovery but sailing as we know it will return and will play an important role in the recovery of our sailing community. There will be a time when it is again safe to enjoy a day on the water with friends new and old, but for now we wish you a happy and safe Easter wherever you may be.
We continue to work with state maritime agencies to ensure that sailing is positioned to receive the best advice and to be appropriately considered when the time comes to change the regulations.
Latest maritime updates for Western Australia

    Department of Parks and Wildlife Service; Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

    2. This is a challenging time for us all and an important time to observe the State Government’s latest COVID-19 response advice regarding recreating around our rivers.

    The Department of Health (DoH) is continuing its warning for the toxic Alexandrium algal bloom in the Swan and Canning rivers but we are pleased to advise the bloom appears to have declined in both waterways. DoH is still advising people not to eat shellfish, crabs or fish collected from the following areas (below).

    Alexandrium impacted areas:
    • the Swan River – from Pelican Point, Crawley to the South of Perth Yacht Club, Applecross and upstream to Middle Swan (Reid Highway) Bridge, Middle Swan (this includes the commonly known areas of Como Jetty, Matilda Bay, Perth Waters, Elizabeth Quay, Barrack Street Jetty, Claisebrook Cove, Maylands Yacht Club, Ascot Waters, Hind Reserve, Riverside Gardens, Garvey Park, Sandy Beach Reserve, Point Reserve, Kings Meadow, Fish Market Reserve and Woodbridge Riverside Park).
    • the Canning River – from the South of Perth Yacht Club and upstream to Kent Street Weir (this includes commonly known areas of Canning Bridge, Mt Henry Bridge, Salter Point, Shelley Bridge, Riverton Bridge, and Castledare).
    Alexandrium toxins can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning and cooking will not destroy these toxins. A map of the Alexandrium impacted area and an information flyer are attached. Please see the latest DoH media statement at:

    The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions continues to conduct weekly water quality monitoring to track the extent of the bloom. We have also tested mussels, crabs and fish for the Alexandrium toxin and will repeat testing once the bloom subsides. DoH and local riverfront councils have installed health warning signs advising against eating shellfish, crabs and fish at key riverfront locations including jetties, boat ramps and key accessible foreshore areas within the affected region. It should be noted that swimming and other aquatic recreational activities on the Swan and Canning rivers are not impacted by the algal bloom, but as a general rule swimming should be avoided in areas of discoloured water.

    Further information is provided in regularly updated Alexandrium FAQ’s available at: to share with your members. Please call me on (08) 9278 0984 or 0419 484 766 if you have any further questions. We will keep you informed on this matter.

    Mark Thornley
    Senior Projects Officer
    Rivers and Estuaries Branch, Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
    Email: Web:
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