332,000 fish killed by red tide in Gyeongsang, South Korea

A fish farm owner looks at dead red sea-bream on Geoje Island, South Gyeongsang Province, Monday. A red tide or algal bloom has affected fish and other marine creatures in the region. / Yonhap
A “red tide” is spreading along the south coast, killing hundreds of thousands of fish on fish farms.
 
According to the local government of Geoje Island, South Gyeongsang Province, fish farmers reported the mass death of fish, including sea bream, at three farms.
 
The number of dead fish is estimated at more than 332,000, worth about 420 million won. A warning has been out about the poisonous algae bloom since Aug. 13.
 
“Exact figures of the damages are not yet available,” a provincial government official said. “We expect more damage will be reported from other farms.”
 
A red tide is caused when estuarine, marine, or fresh water algae grow rapidly, turning the color of the water red or brown.
 
It occurs naturally, resulting from a rise in sea temperatures during summer. Higher temperatures increase salinity, providing ideal conditions for the algae.
 
Efforts by maritime authorities to prevent the red tide expanding are having little effect.
 
The algae are expected to spread to Tongyeong in the same province and Yeosu in South Jeolla Province, where a warning has also been issued. The red tide is also beginning to expand northward along the east coast.
 
“Red tides cause up to 70 billion won in damages every year,” said Prof. Jeong Hae-jin of the Red Tide Laboratory at Seoul National University. “About 27 million farm fishes were killed in 2013, causing damage worth hundreds of billions of won.”
 
The National Fishery Research and Development Institute recommended that fish farms minimize the use of artificial food supply and regularly use liquefied oxygen.
Courtesy of koreatimes.co.kr

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