Killer food

Published: Thursday 31 March 2005

-- (Credit: Nasa)Marine life in the Arabian Sea might be in grave danger. A Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (modis) image, taken by us space agency nasa on February 22, 2005, shows high chlorophyll concentration in the sea (ribbons and swirls of yellow). This denotes high presence of phytoplankton, tiny ocean plants, near the sea surface. Though phytoplanktons are the food of many marine animals, too many of them destroy a marine ecosystem, creating "dead zones" or oxygen-deficient areas where fish cannot survive. This happens when dead phytoplanktons sink to the bottom of the sea and the bacteria that break them down consume most of the oxygen.

Experts say the recent floods along the coast in Pakistan can be one reason for the high chlorophyll concentration. Phytoplanktons grow with the help of the minerals carried by floodwater into the sea.

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