Harmful 'red tide' hits Dubai beaches

Apr 07, 2009
A general view shows the Jumeirah beach in the Gulf emirate of Dubai in February 2009. Beaches in the Gulf tourism hub of Dubai have been plagued by a bloom of algae known as the "red tide" that has killed fish and is potentially harmful to humans, a municipality official said on Tuesday.

Beaches in the Gulf tourism hub of Dubai have been plagued by a bloom of algae known as the "red tide" that has killed fish and is potentially harmful to humans, a municipality official said on Tuesday.

"This is a natural fauna that goes into harmful algal bloom," said Mohammed Abdulrahman Hassan, head of the marine and wildlife section in the municipality's environment office.

The algae can cause skin and eye irritations as well as breathing problems for people, who should avoid swimming near it, Hassan said.

The algae, whose scientific name is Cochlodinium polykrikoides, absorb oxygen at a high rate, especially at night. Reduced can harm fish, and the algae can also kill them by clogging their gills.

On Tuesday municipality officials found algae near the iconic sail-shaped Burj Al-Arab Hotel, but Hassan said it was pointless closing sections of beach since the bloom was constantly on the move.

"People should use common sense. If they see the bloom or dead fish, they should not touch it and should not swim in that area," he said.

Newspaper reports said the phenomenon has plagued neighbouring emirates Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah for months, killing hundreds of tonnes of fish.

One of the seven emirates comprising the , Dubai is popular with tourists and residents alike for its sunbaked beaches.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Northeast blizzard wasn't a bust, but it was a miss for many

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Red tide dissipates off Tampa Bay

Dec 05, 2005

A massive red tide that has spewed toxins into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly a year reportedly is starting to disappear.

Biologists find diatom to reduce red tide's toxicity

Aug 20, 2008

It's estimated that the red tide algae, Karenia brevis, costs approximately $20 million per bloom in economic damage off the coast of Florida alone. Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found ...

Recommended for you

Carbon accumulation by Southeastern forests may slow

2 hours ago

Carbon accumulation levels in the Southeastern U.S. may be slowing due to forest dynamics and land use changes, according to findings of U.S. Forest Service researchers published in the journal Scientific Reports, Friday ...

Study of new perspective on water management

2 hours ago

Water management should focus more on how robust different areas are in terms of coping with floods and drought. A robust system means that we can deal better with extreme events. High river discharges and long periods of ...

Montana oil spill estimate lowered to 30,000 gallons

19 hours ago

Authorities have lowered their estimate of how much oil spilled from a broken pipeline beneath the Yellowstone River in eastern Montana, briefly contaminating the water supply of a city downstream.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.