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What is red tide? Harm and preventive measures

When river water, sea water can no longer keep the normal blue color, it turns red, or sometimes it will be orange, blue … This is the most characteristic sign of red tide phenomenon. The harmful effects of this phenomenon have directly affected the lives of people, as well as animals and plants.

Red tide phenomenon

Red tide, also known as algae blooms. This is the phenomenon of too many algae reproducing in rapid numbers in the water. Algae in estuaries, oceans, or freshwater accumulate often causing the surface to become cloudy or discolored, which may be purple, pink, green, or red.

Depending on the type of algae, red tide can produce natural toxins, which deplete oxygen and cause other harm. Scientists call this “toxic algal blooms” (HAB). The most visible harm of HAB is marine animals or fish, crustaceans, molluscs and other organisms that die in mass.

Red tide is also known as algae blooms

Red tide is also known as algae blooms

The cause of the red tide

Algae blooms are commonly known as problems with rapidly decreasing oxygen levels in water. This can happen at any time if they are faced with a favorable condition such as a sudden rise in temperature. Or poor water exchange, nutritional conditions in the environment spike.

Another factor, such as the amount of iron-rich dust coming from the vast desert regions. The Sahara desert, for example, is believed to be one of the causes of the red tide. Some of the times it happened in the Pacific Ocean is associated with large-scale climate change, like El Nino.

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The term “red tide” is slowly being phased out in the research world because red tide does not necessarily have to be red and in many cases no discoloration has occurred. In particular, they are not related to the movement of the tides. But to just let many types of algae bloom.

Red tide does not have to be red

Red tide does not have to be red

Dangerous effects of red tide

Red tide phenomenon appears, signaling abnormal. That is why the harm caused by this phenomenon has directly affected people’s life. As with plants and animals.


Red tide is also potentially harmful to human health. If eating the poisoned organism. Karenia brevis, for example, is a common algae found in the Gulf of Mexico. When flowering can cause eye irritation and affect human respiratory tract. Like coughing, sneezing, watery eyes. People with severe or prolonged respiratory illness, such as chronic lung disease or asthma, can be seriously affected.

More dangerous, many toxic components in red tide combine to form polymers. These compounds are all capable of causing powerful nervous system paralysis.


The harmful effects of red tide to marine life are extremely serious. In aquaculture areas, it will cause mass death of shrimp and fish, disrupting the ecosystem. The surrounding atmosphere is also harder to breathe.

Besides, the non-toxic algae bloom and die. Then their decomposition process will absorb oxygen in seawater. Causing a mass death of animals living in the sea.

The accumulation of seaweed is too large, in respiration, it forms a mucus membrane on the gill of the fish. Affects the oxygen absorption in water. According to a study by scientists have discovered on the gills of fish that died due to this phenomenon. There are signs of injury.

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Red tide causes mass death of fish in many countries around the world. Typically the US, Mexico, Canada and China. About 36 tonnes of fish that died in Hong Kong at the end of last year are attributed to this phenomenon. In 2013, this current wall on the coast of Borneo island killed two people after they ate poisoned marine life.

In fact, the seaweed is a very important link in the ocean food chain. Most seaweed blooms are beneficial. Because they will provide large amounts of food for the animals. But on the other hand, when the balance of nature is broken. The amount of seaweed multiplying too strongly, will cause negative impacts on the ecosystem.

The harmful effects of red tide to marine life are extremely serious

The harmful effects of red tide to marine life are extremely serious

Preventive measures

The main cause of red tide or algae blooms is because water pollution due to quantity wastewater. Mainly from residential areas, agricultural farms contain a lot of organic matter. The amount of water discharged into rivers and seas is large in volume. That will help algae absorb many nutrients. Helping them to multiply and thrive, do not follow cell programming. Therefore, in order to limit the algal blooms, it is recommended to take some measures such as:

  • Make a map to list details of possible red tide.
  • Bring out the harm algae blooms cause. From there will create plans, plans to overcome consequences.
  • Strict control of waste sources, especially in aquaculture areas.
  • Limit algal blooms by depositing algae or using biochemicals.
  • Carry out coastal environmental management.
Let's join hands for a clean blue sea environment

Let’s join hands for a clean blue sea environment

Red tide in Vietnam occurs in many places. And cause very serious harm. Especially in the waters of Binh Thuan. Therefore, each person needs to have awareness and responsibility to join hands to help prevent this phenomenon from happening.

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