ABU DHABI // Samples collected from UAE shores show that waters are free from microscopic organisms that cause red tide, which have killed fish and marine life.
Maryam Hareb, assistant undersecretary of the Water Resources and Nature Conservation Affairs Department at the Ministry of Environment and Water, told Al Ittihad, the Arabic-language sister paper of The National, that samples were free from phytoplankton.
The samples were collected and analysed after the ministry detected intermittent biological activity off coastal areas last November. Satellite imagery has also displayed such activity in regional waters.
Ms Hareb said red tide is a natural phenomenon that can occur. It lasts for several days during the change of seasons due to the significant change in water temperature, quantity of nutrients and marine currents.
The Ministry of Environment and Water has recently developed a national red tide contingency plan as part of its efforts to reduce the phenomenon. The plan encompasses several programmes such as early warning against red tide, controlling it and giving instructions to minimise its effects on desalination plants.