A special, but harmless character

The microalga Thecadinium yashmin- aense has been discovered for the first time in Norwegian waters. The alga was found in a water sample that had been collected near Rissa in the county of Sør-Trøndelag, and it aroused so much interest that the Species Databank made a news item of it. The 0.5 mm-long alga originally came from Japan and the North Pacific region, and was either carried to Norway by ocean currents or brought in a ship’s ballast water.

SINTEF scientist Karl Tangen says that the alga is not toxic and could be regarded as enriching the local environment. All the same, it belongs to a family in which some members produce toxins. The fact that the alga was found in an ordinary sample of water suggests that there is a lot of it around. The scientists intend to follow up on the alga and check it more thoroughly if it turns up again in water samples.