Costa Rica Red Tide Not Delight

Toxin Algae Causes Havoc

Costa Rica Red TideThe color red usually means delight for the sea faring, “red sky tonight, sailor’s delight” but in Costa Rica, red waters spell trouble and with good reason. In recent days, The Nicoya Peninsula has suffered from “red tide”, and for the region there is no delight.

During the dry or summer season, the conditions are perfect for algae to bloom resulting in a reddish appearance of the water. The blooms result from a variety of factors which come together at once to creating the natural phenomenon. An increase in water temperature and nutrient loading with strong offshore winds results in the movement of rich nutrient water from the depths of the ocean to be brought to the surface. With the help of the sun, the conditions create phytoplankton. Although the environmental conditions are perfect for algae blooms, the abundance of phosphates and nitrates in the ocean also contribute to the problem.

The algae is a nuisance to the ocean bearing wildlife as well as human life. Some forms of the algae can produce toxins that in humans can be harmful if ingested, irritation of the skin and complicate the respiratory system. Shellfish absorb the toxins and if eaten by humans can result in poisoning.

Red Tide Deadly For Fish Population

For fish and aquatic life, the algae is deadly. The fish life is most affected and has a chain effect. The dead fish result in sick and dead birds who feast on the abundance of fish that wash up on the shorelines. The site is also an eyesore for the community of Nicoya who is in peak tourism season.

Although there is no solution for red tides, the answer lies in its prevention. Decreasing the use of fertilizers will in turn reduce the nitrates and phosphates  present in the water. As the population increases, environmentally friendly initiatives require adherence. Without such initiatives, red tides could become a serious issue and PuraVida in Costa Rica could be compromised!


Filed Under: EcoFeaturedNicoya


About the Author: Tee is Senior Editor of CostaRicaCLOSEUP.com and NBC's adventure dating series fans magazine LoveInTheWildFansMag.com, as well ascontributing editor to QRCodesUSA.org

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