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Shoreline that faced mass fish deaths turning normal

Water transparent level has improved after algae drifts away

Ramanathapuram

The ‘Noctiluca marine microalgae’ which triggered panic after turning the sea greenish and causing mass fish deaths in the shoreline between Pamban and Mandapam areas in the Rameswaram island early this week, started drifting away and disappearing, according to Mandapam Regional Centre of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

“The situation has improved drastically and the water transparent level has improved after the algae, which turned the sea greenish after blooming, drifted away and disappeared due to increased wind speed and water current,” CMFRI Scientist in-charge R Jayakumar said.

“There is only light green shade in the Mandapam area and no fresh fish deaths were reported on Saturday and Sunday,” he said.

Examination of a few dead fish, which were washed ashore, revealed that they were decayed, suggesting that they could have died a few days ago when the blooming was at the peak, he said.

Mass fish deaths due to gill choking were reported early this week when the blooming was at the peak, he said adding observation of live fish now revealed that they suffered no gill choking. Testing of surface water, bottom water and soil also showed that the algae have drifted away and disappeared, he said.

Thanks to good water current, debris of dead algae or decomposed algae materials were not found in the bottom of the sea, he said. “The shoreline is 95% clear and there is no cause for any alarm,” Mr Jayakumar told The Hindu on Sunday.

He said Mr Grinson George, Senior Scientist, CMFRI headquarters, Kochi, an expert in Marine science, who had conducted tests with real time data provided by the Hyderabad based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS), using satellite sensor, said the intensity of the algae had drastically come down.

“No big batch of Noctiluca marine microalgae was reported in the region,” he said.

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