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Red tide kills hundreds of thousands of fish in Mexico Gulf: official


08:42, August 15, 2012

HOUSTON, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Texas state officials on Monday blamed the red tide, a toxic algal bloom, for the death of hundreds of thousands of fish that washed ashore Sunday on Galveston, an island in the Mexico Gulf, local media reported.

According to the website of local English daily The Houston Chronicle, biologists of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have found that the algae Karenia brevis, one of several types of toxic algae, causes red tide, which killed the fish covering the beaches of the gulf.

Winston Denton, a biologist with the agency's marine fisheries division, said that biologists are continuing to gather information to determine the extent of the red tide and its concentration, but they can't determine yet whether further fish kills will happen or how long the algal bloom will last.

Last year, a red tide, which covered most of the Texas Gulf Coast and Galveston Bay, forced a closure of the oyster beds to harvesting.

The red tide of low-to-moderate concentrations last year arrived in August and lasted until February but caused no fish kills, Denton said.

Most of the dead fish was menhaden, which is more susceptible than other species to red tides.

Workers have since Sunday begun to remove the dead fishes, and their work is expected to last for a couple of days.

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