SEVERAL hundred tonnes of green slime is causing a stink as it continues to wash up on Hervey Bay's usually pristine beaches.
The large amount of thick, fibrous algae that has washed up is a natural phenomenon which usually occurs in the summer months.
The Fraser Coast Regional Council's environmental health officers have tested samples and the results showed it was non-toxic.
Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the most affected area appeared to be west of Wetside, near Beach Rd, and a small amount had washed up on the foreshore near Tavistock St.
"We think it's likely to have occurred at this time of year because of the unusually warm conditions, as well as the prevailing tides and winds," he said.
"We estimate that around 300 to 400 tonnes of algae has washed up."
A number of options have been investigated to remove the algae, however Cr O'Connell said the council's normal beach cleaner was not an option, as the algae would clog the machine.
"We expect that - as has happened in the past - the algae will break down and disperse naturally, especially as the weather cools down," he said. "It is more of an inconvenience than anything."
All beaches remain open but residents were told to take care on slippery surfaces.
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