Algae Bloom the Size of Mexico in the Arabian Sea is Threatening UAE Marine Life

By: | April 15th, 2017

Going green sounds good, but all greens are not good. The Gulf of Oman turns green twice a year, as a harmful algal bloom the size of Mexico spreads across the Arabian Sea.

Researchers studied these algae and found that their blooms are caused by sea sparkles which are microscopic organisms that are thriving in new conditions brought about by climate change. These creatures feed on plankton and suck up energy from the sun.

The algae blooms might look pretty at night, but they have serious consequences. These blooms are threatening the whole marine ecosystem by displacing the zooplankton that strengthens the local food chain.

These algae blooms are not only disturbing the whole ecosystem, but they smell, look terrible, and are bad for the environment as well. Consequently, it is impacting tourism, fisheries, and marine ecosystems.

Author and biologist Lisa Gershwin said, “When the [sea sparkles’] cell breaks down, ammonia is released, and the massive bloom could become a deadly cloud. It can change the flavor of the water, and it’s noxious to fish … As creatures go, it’s more of the unwanted kind. In extreme cases it can cause fish kills; it does it all over the world,”

Let us hope that scientists can find a solution for this problem before it is too late.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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