x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Red tide havoc on UAE coastline 'has no lasting effect', says ministry

The concentration of the bloom of harmful algae appears to be much less than that from 2008 which badly affected the Gulf coastline

A bloom of harmful algae, or “red tide”, will have no lasting effect on the east coast, according to the Ministry of Environment and Water.

A red tide in 2008 lasted for nearly a year and affected large parts of coastline throughout the Gulf, suffocating coral reefs and harming fisheries. This year, a much smaller bloom has already dissipated and poses no further threat.

“The concentration is much less than the 2008 blooms and [it] only occurred for a few days,” said a spokeswoman for the ministry.

“This year it appeared only as small patches then disappeared.

“This is a natural phenomenon, and these species occur naturally all year around in the marine environment but in minimal concentrations, and bloom only when they have right environmental conditions and availability of high nutrients in seawater. ”

Weekly samples are taken at Dibba, Khor Fakkan, Fujairah and Kalba while satellite images are also reviewed.

vtodorova@thenational.ae