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Southern Chinese boomtown struck by largest 'red tide' algae bloom yet

Southern Chinese boomtown struck by largest 'red tide' algae bloom yet

"Red tide" algae has polluted waters near a southern Chinese city for the third time this year, killing marine life and posing potential health risks for people, state media reported Thursday.
Red tide occurs when a type of microscopic algae reproduces at an explosive rate, producing a neurotoxin that can harm fish, or even humans, ingesting it.
It can be spurred by the presence of nutrient-rich sewage, agricultural runoff or factory emissions.
"This is the biggest red tide that has ever appeared off the city's coast," said Zhou Kai, a marine expert with the sea fishery environment monitoring station in Shenzhen, a boomtown adjacent to Hong Kong.
The polluted area covers about 50 square kilometers (20 square miles), the official China Daily newspaper reported, citing monitoring station data.
"We strongly urge the public to stay away from the polluted sea areas and not eat sea products from there," the newspaper quoted Zhou as saying.
Red tides also appeared near Shenzhen in January and last month, Zhou told the newspaper.
Rains would help the red tide recede, Zhou said, "but the weather remains sunny and hot, which means the red tide is here to stay for now."
Last month, fast-spreading blue-green algae smothered a lake in eastern China, contaminating drinking water for millions of people. Lake Tai, famed for centuries for its beauty, is notoriously polluted from industries in the fast-developing region 130 kilometers (80 miles) west of Shanghai.
A red tide has also been spotted near Hong Kong in the past few days, the China Daily said. The government there has advised residents not to swim in polluted areas.
China's troubled waterways are dangerously polluted after decades of rapid economic growth and the widespread flouting of environmental regulations. Millions of people lack access to clean drinking water.