Red Tide has come to Plett in full bloom! It is not unusual that the Red Tide is occurring at the moment. It usually occurs during the spring and summer time due to the south-easterly winds.
This phenomenon is due to upwelling and is also known as Algal Bloom. Colder nutrient rich water hits the continental shelf and rises up to the surface creating a murky red colour. The sun shines on the water and the phytoplankton blooms causing a higher concentration of particles.
It brings a high level of nutrients, however; it can be toxic and is harmful to animals feeding on algae. There is often a depletion of oxygen caused by algae as it starts to decompose. This causes many creatures to leave the ocean and come ashore in search of oxygen and end up stranding themselves.
Caroline Johansen, Orca Foundation.