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Mysterious “Blue Sparkle” In The Beaches Of Chennai Harmful For Fish

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This time it not just plastic on the beaches that are a threat to the marine fishes, but a mysterious Blue Sparkle that is seen on the beaches of Chennai.

Image source : News18

The blue glow that we use to see in most of the beaches which would leave us all hook up. On the evening of Sunday, the visitors to the beach along the East Coast Road in Chennai were left surprised after they witnessed an unusual sight. It was a blue glow that was sparkling on the beaches.

The samples of the radiant glow have been examined and it was found out that the blue glow witnessed recently in and around the city’s coastline was due to blooming of sea sparkle species, a National Centre for Coastal Research scientist said on Sunday.

It is blue bioluminescent that was witnessed and was collected by NCCR to establish various parameters to the blue glow scientifically in order to confirm the species behind it. The blue glow is the bioluminescence or blue sea sparkles which are a rare sight in Chennai.

We have confirmed that it is Noctiluca scintillans (sea sparkle) of dinoflagellate (unicellular organism),” an NCCR scientist told PTI.

The species grows in a matter of a few days and its size keeps on increasing. They were also seen in places including Akkarai, Tiruvanmiyur and Elliot’s beaches, he further said.

The blue glow must be due to non-toxic marine dinoflagellate species, called Noctiluca scintillans,” says Tamil Nadu Dr J Jayalalitha Fisheries University Vice-Chancellor S Felix on August 20.

Felix further says that the formation of this bloom is considered a bad sign for the decline of fisheries in the particular location. “Sometimes, the liberation of ammonia from the cells of the noctiluca may cause the large-scale mass kill of fish during the crash of the bloom,” he had remarked.

The species grow during the night hours, is commonly called “sea sparkle, according to the varsity head. The bioluminescent light will be emitted by the organism will look blue at night and green at daylight. It is generally slimy in nature due to heavy bloom since it contained “endosymbiotic (an organism that lives in the cells of another organism) green algae species Pedinomonas sp.”

The blooming generally appears after rainfall along the coast, which might bring in a lot of nutrients and organic loadings and this could favor a sudden outburst in the multiplication of this species, he said.

The species is known to feed organisms including phytoplankton (consisting of microscopic plants), fish eggs and microzooplankton (tiny organisms, which are protozoans and animals). These organisms play a key role in the marine ecosystem.

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