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The Red Tide

Updated on April 8, 2012
Shades of red indicate the appearance of Red Tide.
Shades of red indicate the appearance of Red Tide. | Source
Signs warning beach goers and fishermen.
Signs warning beach goers and fishermen. | Source
Signs of death caused by Red Tide.
Signs of death caused by Red Tide. | Source

" Red Tide" is a term given when talking about harmful algal that contaminants ocean water. The harmful alga occurs when algal plants grow out of control and can be toxic to people, fish shell fish, mammals and even birds. The term red tide is used when the subject is talked about from person to person yet scientists call it, " harmful algal blooms ".

The red tide has been know to occur along the East Coast during the summer months. It's been know to stretch from the New England beaches, traveling along the beaches of Mass, New Hampshire, Maine, up into the Florida Gulf Coast. The name Red Tide comes from the fact that the effected areas have a red tinge that is clearly seen in those areas.

Being from the East Coast I am more familiar with the affects that have harmed this area. Though this isn't the only part of the Ocean that's been affected. Parts of the Pacific Ocean have been plagued with affects from the appearance of the Red Tide.

There are some forms of the algal that isn't harmful and is considered food source for the marine life within the ocean. They are part of the food supply chain that some of the marine life depend on for food.

There is actually a small percent that is harmful and marine biologist keep track of these outbreaks because by harming the fish and shellfish it has lead to being harmful and in some cases fatal to human's. They can also effect the marine ecosystems because when masses of the algae die, just as we decompose they do as well. The decomposing effects the oxygen in the ocean water causing the fish and others living in the ocean to leave the effected areas or causing their death.

In the past Red Tide alerts have been known to cause a halt to fishing in specific sections in the ocean. The sections closed are tested everyday until they receive the all clear and receive approval to open that area for fishing. Quite a few cities and towns along the east coast make their living between the spring and summer months from the vessels who catch everything from trout, to halibut, to mussels, scollops, lobsters, shrimp, crabs and every from of marine life that exists. There are the local fisherman, local fish markets, restaurant's and national businesses that count on these vessels to supply the goods.

When indications of the Red Tide are noticed warning sign are posted at the effected areas. Local towns and cities are warned and newscasters broadcast to a wider range of beach goers and fishermen. Scientists and marine biologists monitor and study the cause and effects trying to determine where the blooms may occur. They hope this will allow them to giving advance warnings to the local communities, this notice will give them the chance to warn the public, prepare and plan accordingly in hope of saving their economic well being.


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    • Catzgendron profile image

      Catzgendron 5 years ago from North Chelmsford

      It is especially in the areas that make their livelihood in the fishing industry.

    • brandrocker profile image

      brandrocker 5 years ago

      Nice read! Environment is a major concern for us! I had no clue in this matter! This sounds alarming!