OAKLAND – As the massive harmful algal bloom(opens in new tab) (HAB) stretching throughout the San Francisco Bay appears to be in decline, the State Water Resources Control Board, San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are warning that depleted oxygen levels could lead to large-scale aquatic deaths in the days ahead.
Better known as a “red tide” since it has turned much of the Bay a reddish-brown color, the HAB was first detected in Alameda in late July and has grown to become the largest in the Bay’s recorded history. Already, the HAB has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of fish, including large sturgeon, sharks, striped bass, bat rays and anchovy. While this type of HAB is not considered a health threat to humans, it is recommended that people avoid swimming until further notice. The cause of the HAB is still not known.
“It’s very upsetting to see the scale of harm to aquatic life and we know how disturbing this has been for the public,” said Eileen White, executive officer of the San Francisco Regional Water Board. “We are doing everything possible to monitor the situation, work with other agencies and search for solutions.”