Chennai: The Chennaiites were taken by surprise on Sunday when they saw the beach along the East Coast Road glowing with fluorescent blue. This vision mesmerised the evening walkers and sea lovers, who posted pictures and videos on social networking sites.
Upon learning about the news, people rushed to the beach to get a glimpse of the blue light. “I was at Marina beach and one of my friend posted on Instagram about the blue light which increased my curiosity and I immediately drove all the way to Besant Nagar to get a glimpse of it,” said Sonali, a final year student from a private college in the city.
Researchers and experts call it sea sparkle or Noctiluca. Experts claim that this may not be good as it could dispute the marine food chain. The light is produced by a chemical reaction from an enzyme called 'luciferase' which acts in the presence of oxygen. Noctiluca are known to be a predators of planktonic organisms (diatoms), leading to disruption of the marine food chain. They also excrete large amounts of ammonia, causing massive fish mortality. These algal patches are also linked to coastal pollution and runoff from
This is the first time that bioluminescent waves are being sighted on an Indian beach though it is quite common in several countries like the US.
The local fishermen said with this effect, most of the fishes come towards the shore and the effect of this will remain for a few weeks and increase the mortality in fishes. Also, experts point out that this is an indicator of climate change and will impact in deep sea fishing.