Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Bioluminescent bloom lights up waves

Credit Jami Leslie Feldman Credit Jami Leslie Feldman
Steve Townsend | 11 May, 2018, 00:52

Bioluminescent is seen in the sea waves when an algae bloom is filled with phytoplankton which lights up the micro-organisms that tumble down from waves near the shore.

The phenomenon along the coast is also known as a red tide because during the day the microorganisms give the water a reddish hue, but at night they glow where they are disturbed by waves.

A red tide developed off parts of Southern California has left several beachgoers stunned by the display of eerie bioluminescence light.

"We're getting reports that the bioluminesence runs from La Jolla to Encinitas, but we don't know how big the red tide is", Latz told the Union-Tribune on Tuesday afternoon.

Bioluminescence expert Michael Latz says the glow hasn't happened in California in almost five years.

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However, not all red tides, or harmful algal blooms (HAB), produce the light display.

The dinoflagellates are a type of marine phytoplankton.

"This bloom, like many HABs, is caused by microscopic algae that produce toxins that kill fish and make shellfish risky to eat".

Shellfish supply has become so toxic at times that commercial fishing has been shut down, Latz said. He says scientists can't predict when they'll occur and they really don't understand the dynamics. It was a bioluminescent that added colour to the waters.

Bay shared on Facebook that the last red tide to show in San Diego came in 2013 and he made it a point to make sure he didn't miss this one.

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