BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 10 Sep 2009
The UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) is monitoring the movement of the red tide phenomenon that has appeared on the east coast of the UAE.
The ministry is taking efforts to control the red tide, which has spread widely across the coast, especially in Dibba, Fujairah, Kalba and Khor Fukhan areas, said a senior official.
"The emergence of the phenomenon in the areas has become intense with odours spreading in several parts of the affected areas," said Dr Ibrahim Al Jamali, director of the Center for Marine Environmental Research (CMER).
"In order to facilitate control of the phenomenon, the CMER has collected samples from the red tide for conducting further analysis and check out the reasons," he added.
According to Jamali, the red tide has become prevalent in the upper layers of water from one to five metres, and the number of their cells comes between 3000 and 200000 per litre. The samples have been tested for vesicles coming 20 to 30 per cent in each litre of affected water.
"Toxicity tests were also conducted, which showed the absence of any types of poisonous elements that causes more dangers. No mortality of fish resources or other marine organisms have also been observed," he pointed out.
"The process of red tide has been assumed as a result of climate change and associated phenomena such as wind, South-West monsoon. The assumption is based on the results of the previous analysis on the issue," he added.
"Meanwhile, the ministry urges fishermen and sea-goers to follow the guidelines and abide by the regulations drawn by the authorities aimed at keeping public health and safety standards," noted Jamali.
"They are advised not to fish in the areas where red tides have appeared, as well as to avoid collecting and eating fish products killed by red tide. Also, swimming in the affected areas will harm their health such as allergenic and respiratory complications," he added.