What are we doing to our planet… what is happening…
One thing won’t please the fishermen, Scallops Stella
Red Tide occurs every year in the Gulf of Mexico but usually only stays around for a few months, this current bloom started in October last year and hasn’t gone away. It may have been made worse by river discharges that flow into the Gulf but that’s yet to be proven. We’ll be in the affected area in November so hopefully by then conditions will have improved.
“Normal” figures for deaths are 3 or 4 a month… but there have been 48 deaths in the last two months… so this is not looking good…
The algae thrives in warm water and with sea temperatures rising it could stay around for some time, it kills everything from clams and crabs to dolphins and manatees (sea cows native to Florida). It seems the seals are dying from a virus similar to flu.
It seems to be much further North, off the coast of Maine, that many Seals are suffering from a flu like disease …
However, the rise in sea-life deaths in both areas are causing concerns.
It will be interesting to learn what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration make of it all… no idea how long there “enquiries” will take though…
In Florida the situation is very serious, something like 2000 tons of dead fish etc washed ashore last month along a 140 mile stretch of the Gulf Coast, the algae gives off fumes that are harmful to humans and hundreds of people have been admitted to hospital with respiratory complaints, beaches are closed, the area relies on tourism and this has been hit badly. We were there in March and swam and snorkelled amongst fish and stingrays, now there’s no wildlife at all, it is so sad.
It occurs even off the Coast of the British Isles, and has affected the scallop fishery ,seasonally for years, often closing it.
One of the issues from our use of priority chemicals and pharmaceuticals is we wipe out certain species which removes a natural selective process that has kept a balance for thousands of years.
To illustrate the above point, although many factories have their waste water monitored for pollutants, no where in the world that I know of do hospitals. Just consider the chemicals entering the water systems and how little we currently do to treat and remove these.
Anyone with knowledge of waste water treatment knows you have to look at the whole spectrum when treating water, otherwise you massively disrupt the natural process and often end up creating a worse chemical compound. This in turn can cause a species such as red algae to proliferate.
The water pollution that’s occuring in Florida now is a political scandal but money rules and big corporations have so far bought the silence of the State’s top politicians, maybe now that Red Tide is news worldwide things might change.