Ministry’s tests confirm no red tide off Barka coast
February 28, 2018 | 10:04 PM
by Times News Service
Picture used for illustrative purpose

Muscat: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) announced that there was no red tide off the coast of Barka.

The ministry had taken samples of seawater from Barka’s coast two days ago to check for species of algae that can cause a red tide.

They had done the sampling as a part of the protocol, following an emergency meeting of Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) preparing for the possible development of red tide.

“In the results of the samples, we found that the water is clear and that there is no red tide,” an MAF official said.

Ministry officials added that they had indeed found an invasive species of algae that could cause a harmful algal bloom (hab) or red tide. However, they added that the concentration of the species was too little to pose any significant problems.

“The name of the species is Cochlodinium Polykrikoides. In the analysis of our samples, we found that the concentration of this species was only 7,000 cells per litre. For this algae species to cause a red tide, they have to be at least a million cells per litre. So, there is no danger of a red tide occurring,” the official added.

He added that there was another species of algae that they had found in their samples which was also present in a low concentration. The MAF official said that Barka coast was not even affected by the seasonal algae bloom.

“The seasonal algae bloom that occurs off the coast of Oman every winter is caused a species called Noctiluca Scintillans. We did not find this species off the coast of Barka. This is down to the fact that algae blooms don’t affect coastal waters uniformly. They might affect some areas and not others,” the MAF official said.

Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) emergency committee made fresh statements regarding their monitoring of the coastal waters off Barka

They said that the production of desalination plant in Barka had been constantly increasing. “Production at the desalination plant at Barka had increased by 40 per cent. It could now go up to 80 per cent. This is down to the reduction in the concentration of the algae.

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