Green water is not a sight beach goers expect to see along the shores of east China’s Shandong Province, but last month, Dadonghai, one of Hainan Island’s most popular beaches, was covered with an expansive blanket of green algae.
The algae have also carpeted the shoreline, and although it is considered harmless, the green vegetation has negatively affected both tourism and local fishing. It has devastated the ecosystem because it consumes large quantities of oxygen, depriving other marine life of the precious element.
Despite being harmless, the sudden influx of algae has hit the tourist industry around Qingdao in China’s Shandong province and damaged the local fishing industry.
The mysterious green algae appeared in the area back in 2004. Although considered a natural phenomenon that may have significant nutritive and health values, the 70 meters-wide and 100 meters-long green invader will require further study.
It is expected that rising sea temperatures will kill off the algae because they will permit the influx of some types of bacteria that will destroy it.
Officials warn that this element needs to be carefully monitored in order not to substitute one problem for another bigger one.
Few tourists were venturing into the water and many spent their beach time observing sanitation workers clean up the algae. Truckloads are removed every day and yet barely a dent appears to have been made.
The algae that has invaded the beach area represents only a small segment of the 410-square-km green algae in the Yellow Sea that is being blown by a southward wind, which is floating toward Qingdao and may reach the beach in the next few days.
Experts believe that the algae will disappear naturally with altered weather patterns and ocean conditions.