The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MoAF) has said that sea water turning green in four governorates, namely North and South Batinah, Muscat and South Sharqiyah, has been caused by phytoplankton.
Derived from the Greek words phyto (plant) and plankton (made to wander or drift), phytoplanktons are microscopic organisms that live in watery environments, both salty and fresh.
The ministry said the phenomenon increases in the winter due to natural factors that stimulate its growth, such as change in water temperatures and the movement of marine currents loaded with nutrients, as well as monsoons.
The colour of the water changes to red, brown, orange, light yellow or green, depending on the colour of the phytoplankton.
The growth of phytoplankton in a large area leads to depletion or lack of oxygen dissolved in water, and the death of fish and other marine organisms collectively as a result of suffocation and inability to breathe.
The ministry has assured citizens and residents that there are no environmental damages so far in the Omani water and the existing type of phytoplankton is non-toxic.
Specialists at the Marine Science and Fisheries Centre can be contacted on 98088545.