CAPE TOWN - The Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment (DFFE) has warned members of the public to refrain from eating washed up marine animals.
Large numbers of dead marine animals have been washing up on beaches along the West Coast due to the annual red tide.
They include large amounts of prawns, crabs, cuttlefish, seaworms, and shark rays.
The issue was first reported in the Berg River mouth area close to Velddrif, and mostly inside the estuary.
Small numbers of lobsters were also present.
"The appearance of washed-up lobsters carries significant health risks, rendering them unsuitable for consumption," DFFE spokesperson Peter Mbelengwa said.
Mbelengwa said the department, in collaboration with various national and local authorities, swiftly responded to the walkouts through the West Coast Rock Lobster Walkout Contingency Plan.
This involves collecting live lobsters, relocating them to areas with normal oxygen levels, and ensuring the safe disposal of deceased lobsters.