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Red Tide Strands South African Rock Lobsters
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Red Tide Strands South African Rock Lobsters

April 2, 2003
Although some red tides form a healthy part of phytoplankton production, recurrent harmful or toxic blooms also occur, with results depending upon the type of plankton and on atmospheric and oceanic conditions. At Elands Bay in South Africa's Western Cape province, about 1000 tons of rock lobsters beached themselves during February 2002, when the decay of dense blooms of phytoplankton caused a rapid reduction in the oxygen concentration of nearshore waters. The lobsters (or crayfish, as they are known locally) moved toward the breaking surf in search of oxygen, but were stranded by the retreating tide.


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