Red Tide


HABs increasing across the world

NOAA - National Centers for Costal Ocean Science

Red Tide, Karenia brevis and harmful algal blooms are essentially the same thing. Karenia brevis is the species' name, red tide is the common name, and scientists like to refer to this organism as harmful algal blooms. These HABs become harmful when there is a larger than normal concentration of these organisms. From the name red tide, the habitat is given away – it lives in an aquatic environment. Red tide can be found all over the world including in estuaries and bays, but not freshwater systems like lakes and rivers. Karenia brevis is found almost exclusively off the cost of Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. Some tides can even be carried by the Gulf Stream current to the Atlantic Ocean.  Karenia brevis has even been found as far north as Delaware! Several decades ago only a few countries were affected by this HAB, but now it is found all over the world. Not only is the organism spreading across the world,the blooms are becoming larger. This is affecting a larger area, which causes more animals in its habitat to be affected, more fisheries to be impacted, and there has been more of an economic loss as the HABs are killing off animals. This picture above illustrates just how much the organism is growing and therefore becoming a problem.

Check out the video below to see how Red Tide affected Costa Rica:

Learn more about these HABs and how they adapt to their habitat or you can go home.