What is a Red Tide?

There’s been a lot of mention in the news recently of a Red Tide that is effecting the Patagonia coastline of Chile, killing millions of fish and leaving a trail of disease and coastal communities with huge loss of income.

A Red Tide is a phenomenon caused by algal blooms during which algae become so numerous that they discolour coastal waters (hence the name “red tide”). The algal bloom may also deplete oxygen in the waters and/or release toxins that may cause illness in humans and other animals.

The major factors influencing red tide events include warm ocean surface temperatures, low salinity, high nutrient content, calm seas, and rain followed by sunny days during the summer months.

They occur worldwide and sadly are more and more frequent.In Ireland if they occur

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