What Is The Beautiful ‘Blue Tide’ Spotted Along Mumbai Beaches ?

26 November 2020.


The tide that produces a fluorescent blue hue—bioluminescence—made an appearance on the Maharashtra coastline. The ‘blue tide’ was also witnessed along Dakshina Kannada-Udupi coast. This phenomenon is called bioluminescence, which is the emission of light by microscopic marine plants called phytoplanktons. Eg: dinoflagellates. The blue light stems from chemical reactions of proteins inside the organism.

About Dinoflagellates:

  • It is the marine plankton.
  • The population of Dinoflagellates thrives in water based on the sea temperature.
  • Dinoflagellates is one of the largest groups of marine eukaryotes in species.
  • These species are photosynthetic.

What is Bio-Luminescence?

  • The sparkling light appearing in the sea from the microorganisms is called bio-luminescence.
  • The Bioluminescence is usually higher in deep living organisms than the shallow species.
  • Bioluminescence is controlled by a circadian clock and only occurs at night.
  • Luminescent and non-luminescent strains can occur in the same species.
  • During night time the number of species is high.
  • The smaller blooms are not harmful.
  • Basically, it is an anti-predatory response. Also, bioluminescence helps the micro organisms to gather together easily and form colonies.

How the blue light is related to Climate Change?

  • According to the marine experts, the blue light is the sign of climatic changes.
  • It also reveals the low oxygen and high nitrogen content in the sea water.
  • Also, heavy rain causes Bio-Luminescence.

Is Blue Tide harmful?

  • The smaller blooms of micro organisms are not harmful.
  • On the other hand, the slow moving larger blooms have impact on deep sea fishing.
  • Their colonies become larger only when the nitrogen presence is higher and dissolved oxygen content is lower.
  • This environment is highly dangerous for fish as they mainly survive on oxygen.
  • This happens due to fertilizer run off and discharge of untreated sewage into the oceans. Therefore, larger blue tide indicate deteriorating ocean ecosystem.

Is Bio-luminescence common in India?

  • No, Bio-luminescence is not common in India.
  •  In India we can find Bio-luminescence in Lakshadweep, Goa, Mumbai, kannada(udupi).

Why do marine organisms glow?

  • Species in the sea glows because of the chemicals in their body or bacteria in the skin.
  • The oxygen reacts to produce substrate called luciferin that creates blue light in the waves.

Where does bio-Luminescence occur in other parts of the world?

Great Smoky Mountains, Cambodia. The Hawaiian islands, New Zealand ,Bermuda, Japan, Florida.

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