Iran Battles Red Tide, A Soap-like Super Foam That's Killing Fish

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In summer, Israelis battle jellyfish, an introduced species that came to the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal. But that’s nothing compared to what Iran’s battling right now: A weird and wacky red, soap-like super foam is taking over the Persian Gulf in Iran.

Known as the “red tide,” it’s the result of an excessive algal bloom caused when marine or freshwater algae accumulate repdily in the water.

Researchers in the region estimate that the damage cost the red tide is causing amounts to about $500 million dollars. Posing a danger to wildlife such as fish, the red foam clogs their gills cutting off the air supply.

The Marine Eco-Biology Office at Iran’s environmental Protection Organization told Press TV, an Iranian news source, that the bloom Cochlodinium polykrikoides is really putting Iran’s fishing industry in peril.

In an earlier report some 45 tons of fish had already been killed.

“Quick reaction workshops are scheduled to be held in two weeks to root out the sources of red tide in the Persian Gulf before the ocean warms in spring and summer, providing conditions that are even more ideal for the bloom,” said Omid Sediqi, who heads an Iranian marine authority office.

“Spreading clay on the surface of the water is the fastest measure that can reduce the mass of red tide around 80 percent. However, the measure’s harmful effect on fish makes it ineffective on entire surface of the Persian Gulf,” he added.

Cochlodinium polykrikoides is not toxic to humans and does not affect the water from desalination plants. The scope of the problem calls for greater regional co-operation than ever before, writes Press TV.

::Press TV
Image credit: Carleton College

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