Monday, September 26, 2022

Why did part of the Sekelt inlet turn orange?

It’s not red. It’s not a tide. It’s also not really algae. Scientist Andrea Locke explains how orange patches near the ocean’s surface are actually specific to this time of year – and what they are.

Sections of the typically blue-green waters of Seychellet’s Porpoise Bay became a bright shade of orange on May 7 and 8. While eye-catching, temporal changes are commonly seen in BC waters at this time of year.

What is ‘red tide’?

It’s not red, or even tidal. It’s an algae bloom – but it’s not even actually algae.

Andrea Locke, a research scientist at the Institute of Ocean Sciences for Fisheries and Ocean Canada (DFO), is “99 percent certain.” noctiluca scintillons, a single celled organism. Or rather, several of them. (To be 100 percent sure, Locke would need to examine a sample under a microscope.) The photos show the story’s features of the natural phenomenon and the exact time of year.

Much of the function of the lock is accompanied by harmful algal blooms. However, she states, noctiluca scintillon Not really algae, even though it is classified and “lumped together”. Most algae do photosynthesis, but noctiluca scintillon Feeds on algae, fish eggs, bacteria – life is shorter than itself.

“They’re so common at this time of year, they start showing up in May,” Locke said. “When you start with all the other algae that are actually photosynthetic, these guys appear shortly afterwards.”

Even though it is classified as a harmful algae, noctiluca scintillons Not the type that causes shellfish toxins, and there is no need to wean off shellfish. The harmful classification comes from the animal’s ability to create concentrations of ammonia in water as a byproduct of its metabolism. Still, it’s rare to see fish or vertebrate mortality as a result and being diluted by the surrounding waters, Locke said. Any type of algal bloom could potentially reduce oxygen levels in the water, because of the bloom’s “boom and bust” cycle, he said. They appear near the surface, then usually die off and their decomposition uses up the oxygen in the water.

“It’s a fairly subtle effect,” Locke said. “It’s probably not going to die out in a big way or anything like that.”

Marine species of dinoflagellates can exist in green or red forms, depending on which part of the world they are present in. They’re more green closer to the equator, Locke says.

local report

On Sunday, May 8, Leonard Stott and his wife came into bloom during their usual stroll to the dock near the Lighthouse pub and where the seaplanes were taking off, when Stott exclaimed, “Will you see that color!” They covered the area from the end of the pier to the shoreline, he said.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Stott told the Coast Reporter, and began photographing.

The first reports that Locke heard about the latest so-called red tide to appear on the Sunshine Coast came from his brother and sister-in-law, who are traveling ashore by boat. As they walked from Sydney to Princess Louisa Inlet, they sent pictures of the orange patch.

“I’m surprised we haven’t actually seen this a while ago,” Locke said. “I think because we’ve had a fairly cold and late spring, we’ve been seeing this for a while.”

The orange blooms will likely appear for the next few weeks before clearing up. Indeed, when Stott returned the next day, “it was as clear as a bell. There was none of that awful red color.”

aka sea sparkles

noctiluca scintillons It is also known as the “sea glow” and is the creature responsible for the blue bioluminescence that typically occurs off the coast of BC in late summer.

Coastal Server Viewed

On Sunday, a new ship was also spotted at Sekelt Inlet. The coastal server spent some time near Poise Island in Porpoise Bay before moving closer to Salmon Inlet on 9 May. The 24-metre vessel, which was to be built in 2021, was contracted by Greg Seafoods BC Ltd and was in the field to meet the scheduled time. Communications Director Amy Jonsson explains the company’s active sea lice treatment for farmed salmon coast reporter Via email. The vessel uses a mechanical illusion system called SkaMik 1.5. He said the team had to travel around the inlet to find adequate reception for some phone calls.

“The team was not aware of any harmful algae reports to the field, and regular water sampling in the fields showed no elevated levels,” wrote Jonson.

algae research

In 2021, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change launched a citizen science project called Algae Watch to gather information for research and help scientists and the public understand cyanobacteria and algae blooms. Since the Algae Watch observation map was launched, there have been no submissions from the public for the Sunshine Coast area. This may be because the scope of the project is focused on freshwater rather than saltwater blooms.

Locke said the Pacific Salmon Foundation also has a citizen science program that looks at harmful algae, among other things.

According to the FNHA website, the First Nations Health Authority recently launched a pilot project called We All Take Care of the Harvest (WATCH), which “addresses seafood safety, security and sovereignty in the context of climate change”. . “The project aims to help coastal communities and their members decide whether their seafood is safe to harvest.”

For those on the coast who see “red tides” or other interesting algae observations, Locke said they can email them at to share photos and observations, because Researchers don’t always have real-time data.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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