Red Tide at Walker Bay Captured in Satellite Imagery

This Sentinel 2A image acquired 11 January 2017 shows extensive red tide (highlighted in a yellow box) in the Vermont area not very far from the town of Hermanus in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Red tide is a colloquial term used to refer to one of a variety of natural phenomena known as harmful algal blooms, which occur when south-easterly winds bring nutrients up from the ocean bottom that under certain conditions cause a population increase in phytoplankton on the sea surface. Certain species of phytoplankton, contain photosynthetic pigments that vary in colour from green to brown to red. Red tide is not only harmful to marine and coastal species of fish, birds and marine mammals but also poses potential harm to human health. People can become seriously ill from eating oysters and other shellfish contaminated with red tide toxin.

Image credits:
Copernicus Sentinel data 2017.

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