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Oysters Hard Hit by Red Tide

by Ellen Hardy
28 March 2008, at 12:00am

NAMIBIA - Namibia's oyster industry has lost 70 per cent of its production due to a 'red tide' algal bloom. The country's relatively small oyster trade has lost millions of shellfish which has delayed foreign market expansion by up to a year.

Local reports say that the industry has been extremely and adversely affected by the red tide, although it is not at the point of collapse.

According to The Namibian, oyster farmers, which are mostly located in Walvis Bay, were hit three-fold over the past six weeks.

First, climatic fluctuations caused the sea temperature to increase above the culture limit of about 18 degrees Celsius, then temperatures reached highs of 25 degrees, making it ideal for algae to bloom.

This bloom produced huge amounts of oxygen during the day, while at night the algae used up all the oxygen and produced carbon dioxide.

Oysters and other marine creatures experienced increased stress due to the extreme fluctuations and so productivity has fallen dramatically

View the The Namibian story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy