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CHINA - Red tide threatens aquaculture and fisheries

Algae drifting towards coastline of Shandong province threatens fish farms and fisheries

May 10, 2012

A red tide measuring more than 100 square kilometers drifting toward east China's coastline is threatening local fish and aquaculture industries. It is predicted to continue moving northwestward toward the coastline of Shandong province. It is feared that it will reach coastal waters and threaten both fish farming and fishing industries. Although non-toxic, the algae takes up a lot of oxygen at night, causing fish to suffocate. It can also block up gills.

The red tide, first detected on May 3 covering 780 square km, shrank to 106.3 square kmearlier this week, but this may just mean that it has submerged due to lower water temperatures. Li Qinliang, professor with the North China Sea Environment Monitoring Center of the SOA said the red tide, Noctiluca scientillan algae, grows by photosynthesis and reserves energy under the water when sunshine is poor.

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