BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) -- An algae bloom, or "green tide," has broken out in waters off China's east coastline, spreading to nearly 1,500 square km, the country's maritime authorities said Thursday.
About 1,492 square km of seawater in the Yellow Sea were found to have algae, while some 11 square km were fully covered by the plant, the North China Sea Marine Forecasting Center of State Oceanic Administration said in a statement. The figures were based on an analysis of May 20 satellite monitoring statistics.
The center forecast that the green algae will continue to spread northeastward.
Though the green algae is not poisonous, it can block sunshine and consume large amounts of oxygen, which can threaten marine life.
The green algae will also choke the shipping channel and affect offshore fisheries if washed ashore.
The green tide in the Yellow Sea has been one of the most serious in the world and usually occurs in early summer each year.
It first emerged in the Yellow Sea in 2007. Residents and soldiers removed tens of thousands of tonnes of algae in 2008 for the sailing events of the Beijing Olympics.
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