Seaweed traps Gold Coast beachgoer, pooch

Christine Flatley
Deposits of thigh-deep 'cornflake seaweed' have been washed up on Palm Beach on the Gold Coast

Masses of "cornflake seaweed" piled up thigh-deep on southern Gold Coast beaches have caused a headache for at least one runner who had to be rescued from the algae.

Seaweed expert Pia Winberg said the bloom of Colpomenia, also known as sea potatoes, oyster thief or cornflake seaweed, was not unusual for this time of year.

However she said the size was unprecedented.

"We have not seen bigger blooms than the one you've got on the Gold Coast at the moment," she told AAP.

Videos posted on social media on Wednesday showed tourists, locals and an excited dog playing in the seaweed.

One local runner had to be rescued by a passer-by when she became stuck in thick seaweed that had washed up on Palm Beach.

Dr Winberg said it was unclear why there was so much of the seaweed, but that the "spring bloom" could keep the waters murky for weeks.

She said the piles on the beaches could take more than a month to decompose, but that it could be put to good use as a compost additive.

"It doesn't make sense to scrape it up and put it in a waste pile," she said.

Dr Winberg said the seaweed was important in the natural ecology, feeding marine ecosystems and increasing local fish stocks.

Gold Coast City Council spokesperson said recent conditions have led to the accumulation of seaweed at the beach.

"The city will work with the state government if management of the seaweed is required,' the spokesperson said.

"The city is actively monitoring the accumulation of seaweed on our beaches.

"At this point in time no maintenance work is proposed to remove the seaweed."