What will kill algae

Killer alga kills fish with a bite

Research controversy about deadly algae poison

Algae kill fish not with poison, but with deadly bites. American researchers at the University of Virginia discovered this, reports the science magazine Nature. The researchers noticed this because the toxin in the algae alone did not kill the fish. The algae have a kind of eating tool that injures the fish skin in such a way that the animals then perish.

The mode of action of the genus killer algae Pfiesteria has sparked heated controversy among scientists. After the occurrence of the "red tide", thousands of fish have died time and again on the coastal strip. Therefore, the researchers assumed that the toxins of the algae are responsible for the death of the fish. However, during precise studies on the east coast of the USA, the scientists were able to prove that the poison does not exist and that it is therefore not responsible for the death of the fish.

Wolfgang Vogelbein from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point did not find any conclusive evidence of the presence of toxins in the first experiments with the algae and the fish. Rather, the team was able to determine that the algae use their eating tools and kill the fish in the process.

According to the science magazine, some researchers still believe that some of the algae kill with a toxin. JoAnn Burkholder from the University of North Carolina in Raleigh has identified highly toxic algae of the Pfiesteria genus. After five years of research, it was also possible to find the toxin that kills a fish within five minutes. Other researchers deny that.

What is certain is that the rapidly growing algae can bring an abrupt end to the fishing industry. In 1997, the mass death of fish off the coast of the US state of Maryland resulted in damage of $ 43 million. Thousands of fish perished back then.

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