An Algal Bloom of the Dinoflagellate

  • 17 Apr 2023

Currently, Visakhapatnam beaches are glowing blue due to a natural phenomenon known as bioluminescence.

  • The glow observed in Visakhapatnam is caused by tiny marine organisms called phytoplankton.
  • Specifically, an algal bloom of the dinoflagellate species of noctiluca and ceratium, emit light on the ocean surface at night when disturbed by breaking waves.
  • The phenomenon is particularly visible during warm weather conditions and moonless nights.
  • Bioluminescence is not new to Visakhapatnam and has occurred on several occasions in the past, but the recent experience is on a larger scale, making it a visual spectacle.
  • Marine biologists say that it is a likely indication of environmental changes in seawater in the region of its occurrence.
  • While it may not be harmful to humans, any kind of algal bloom can affect the marine ecosystem as phytoplankton is consumed by fish.
  • The impact of these noctiluca blooms off Visakhapatnam coast on marine species is less reported and explored and needs to be studied.