First red tide in a decade hits southeast China

More than four square miles of the East China Sea off the city of Xiamen have been struck with the first red tide algae bloom in 10 years.

The Southeast Express newspaper said the bloom turned the water brown and killed countless fish and oysters, which are piling up on the shores in stinking mounds.

Marine experts told the newspaper the red tide was caused by increasing sea temperature and recent projects to clear seabed sludge, which may have stirred up fertilizer residues in the seabed. The phenomenon occurs when pollutants cause algae to bloom, robbing the water of oxygen and suffocating marine life.

City officials did not issue a warning about eating seafood, but did advise against entering the water, China ‘s state Xinhua news agency reported.

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photo by Jimmerman Fish