Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Harmful 'red tide' hits Dubai beaches

Terra Daily via Agence France-Presse: Beaches in the Gulf tourism hub of Dubai have been plagued by a bloom of algae known as the "red tide" that has killed fish and is potentially harmful to humans, a municipality official said on Tuesday. "This is a natural fauna that goes into harmful algal bloom," said Mohammed Abdulrahman Hassan, head of the marine and wildlife section in the municipality's environment office.

The algae can cause skin and eye irritations as well as breathing problems for people, who should avoid swimming near it, Hassan said. The algae, whose scientific name is Cochlodinium polykrikoides, absorb oxygen at a high rate, especially at night. Reduced oxygen levels can harm fish, and the algae can also kill them by clogging their gills….

Alejandro Diaz photographed this red tide in La Jolla, California

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