Red tides are harmful algae blooms. They occur sometimes naturally and sometimes appear to be caused by human activity. Red tides have been associated with El Nino in the Pacific. The algae is tinted redish brown, which is why it is called a red tide. Not all red algae is harmful, but the “red tide” variety is. The algae is toxic.
A red tide, called a “harmful algal bloom” (HAB) by scientists, refers to a red, brown, orange, or green colored algae, often a dinoflagellate, that contains toxic substances. They may poison or kill marine life who eat algae, thereby sickening or killing coastal mammals that eat the infected sea creatures. In turn, this can negatively affects ocean communities that rely on marine resources to make a living.
Human illnesses related to the algal blooms may cause abdominal cramps, vomiting, chills, fever, or rash. Some names of HAB-specific ailments are:
*Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning*Ciguatera Fish Poisoning*Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning*Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning*Paralytics Shellfish Poisoning
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