28 January, 2014 28 January, 2014

All That Glitters Is NOT Gold – Red Tide Suffocates Eastern Cape Coast

Photographers and spectators have been in awe of the algae blooms that have been saturating some beaches around the Eastern Cape since last week. While emitting a luminous glow at night, the infestation of plankton has made for some pretty pictures.

NickCadle

But as local PE surf website millerslocal.co.za pointed out, all that glitters is not gold. Already scores of fish have been found washed up on the beaches in the area due to the red tide, in particular mussel cracker and blacktails, but these deaths are not due to the toxins this plankton is carrying, but rather because of hypoxia as the plankton suck most of the available oxygen out of the water while they do their fluorescent dance.

Fish

The toxins carried by this specific plankton have not been linked to adverse health effects in surfers or bathers, but they can be transferred to shellfish – so it’s best to be cautious of eating any harvested in the area for now.

Read more about the red tide on www.millerslocal.co.za
Or check out some rad images of the glowing phenomenon here>>

1 Comment

  1. Phil
    28 January, 2014 at 1:23 pm · Reply

    “Red tide is mostly not harmful to surf in though increased ear and sinus infections have been reported during blooms. This is most likely due to increased bacteria that are associated with increased amounts of organic material produced and degraded during bloom conditions. Surfers may reduce their risk for infections by rinsing their face and any wounds after exposure.”

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