Muscat – The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources (MAFWR) has stated that the sea along the coast of Wusta and South Sharqiyah are affected by green tide, a phenomenon caused by phytoplanktons.
A statement issued by MAFWR said, ‘The ministry has observed recently a bloom of phytoplanktons in parts of Duqm in Al Wusta and Masirah in South Sharqiyah, resulting in the death of some fish.’
Derived from the Greek words phyto (plant) and plankton (made to wander or drift), phytoplanktons are microscopic organisms that live in watery enviro- nments, both salty and fresh.
The ministry said the phenomenon increases in winter due to natural factors that stimulate growth of phytoplanktons, such as change in the water temperature and movement of marine currents loaded with nutrients.
The colour of the water changes to red, brown, orange, light yellow or green, depending on the colour of the phytoplankton.
The growth of phytoplanktons in a large area leads to depletion or lack of oxygen dissolved in water, and the death of fish and other marine organisms as a result of suffocation and their inability to breathe.
MAFWR urged citizens and residents not to swim in water affected by phytoplanktons.