Recently, the news about the red tides in George Town is going viral on the internet. Everyone likes to know about this incident. The public is surfing the internet to find out more about this and not just because they also like to know if this type of algae is going to leave any harmful effects on marine life. All of them are surfing the internet for answers to these incidents. To know more about this incident, follow this article and find out what was the cause of these algae blooms.
Pink algae bloom generates fear
A red tide, characterized by thick bands of algal blooms in striking pink stripes around the island, is wreaking havoc in the seas around Penang. It’s good news that researchers have determined that this algae bloom is not harmful and will not harm marine life that comes into contact with it. The vivid pink streaks were noticed about 100 meters offshore at 11:30 a.m., and by 12:15 p.m., the red tide had reached the beach, according to the sources. It was thick, and the bright pink color seemed so out of place in the sea. It is easy to see how the algae adhere to each other to form a huge chain that extends for kilometers.
When the red tide reached the beach, the waves broke it, and by this time, the water on the shore had turned a dull pinkish red. “Some people on the beach started yelling for everyone to get out of the water and there was a brief moment of panic,” he recalled. As scary as it may sound, scientists have determined that the algae is Noctiluca scintillans and that its only poisonous property is the presence of ammonia, which can scare away some fish.
A team from the Center for Coastal and Marine Studies (Cemacs) at the Universiti Sains Malaysia collected samples of the algae and examined them under a microscope, according to marine biologist Professor Datuk Dr. Aileen Tan. Red tides are not always fatal to aquatic life. According to her, certain copepods (small crustaceans) even eat Noctiluca scintillans in this situation. She also assured people that fish harvested from the Penang area is still safe to eat. She noted that Penang and Kedah had recently experienced a few days of heavy overnight rain, which is typical during the inter-monsoon season. “It starts with prolonged warm weather, followed by sudden rains that send nutrients out to sea,” she said.