Certain species of algae congregate in large numbers in the water body which cause a discoloration and the water appear as Red tides. This phenomenon is also known as algal bloom. Algae accumulate in large concentrations and result in the surface water getting discolored. Red Tides are a common phenomenon occurring in the coastal areas. The algae mainly comprise of phytoplankton which are plant like microorganisms that appear in dense patches in the water. Dinoflagellates are a type of phytoplankton which specifically impart the brown or red color. The dense concentrations of the algae in certain expanses of the water make it look discolored or appear red. The term Red Tides may be a misnomer as they are not necessarily associated to the tides of water. As a result scientists prefer to use the words algal bloom to describe the phenomenon of Red Tides.
What causes Red Tides?
The main cause of Red Tide
s is attributed to the huge supply of certain nutrients which are dumped in the water and provide food for the algae
. The result is that the algae
multiply and grow in increasing patches near the surface of such water. The main waste that enters the water is through the agricultural produce which becomes responsible for the unimaginable growth of the marine algae
. Further some algae
which are through the process of seasonal growth are boosted to grow in harmful proportions due to the abundant supply of farming waste. The growing population and the resultant increase in agricultural produce has been a major contributor to polluting the coastal waters. Besides Global warming has led to a rise in sea temperature which has also contributed to the increase in marine algae
. Red Tides
can surface at any place on the planet be it in Florida, New England , Gulf of Mexico, Pacific coast or Canada.
What are the dangers of Red Tides?
can cause environmental and health hazards. The marine algae
which occur close to the water surface may get lifted by the wind and get carried to the shores. As a result people living in areas where Red Tides are rampant usually suffer from respiratory disorders and other health problems. No wonder then that the phenomenon of Red Tide
has come to be known as the “Harmful Algal Bloom” or HAB. The presence of dense concentration of algae
near the water surface can affect the amount of sunlight reaching the marine flora and fauna. As a result it can prove to be disastrous for the marine ecology. Moreover the toxins released by the algae
are directly absorbed by the shell fish that abound in the areas of Red Tides. The people who consume such fish are indirectly exposed to the harmful effects of the toxins. In many cases there has been massive destruction of marine life due to the high level of toxins released by the algae
. So it is best to avoid consumption of fish
contaminated by the Red Tides.