It is blooming algae out there and the sea is streaked the colour of lumo-orange. The ocean is such a radical environment and constantly shifting, responding daily to the dance of the wind and the currents. We are currently experiencing a natural phenomenon referred to as ‘red tide’.
It is caused by an algal bloom, which is an explosive growth and build-up of certain microscopic phytoplankton in coastal waters which occur when prevalent winds at certain times of year cause cold, nutrient-rich water to rise up to the surface from the deep, a process known as up-welling.
Certain red tides release toxins that may cause harm to humans and other animals (especially filter feeding marine creatures) but most are beneficial, these organisms being the major source of energy that fuels our oceans web of life.
The red tide we are currently experiencing is the Noctiluca miliaris type which is typical for this time of the year and is NOT HARMFUL. Some cells of L. polyedrum were found in water samples from Algoa Bay so they are expecting a return of the HARMFUL Bloom, but not yet! This may only happen when the surface water temperatures are warmer.