Mysterious ‘red tide’ causes thousands of fish and octopus to wash up on shore

Hundreds of octopuses, manta rays, puffer fish and other marine species have washed up on beaches due to a strange phenomenon called "red tide".

Over the last couple of weeks thousands of dead fish appeared on the Telchac beach in Yucatan, Mexico due to the red tide that regularly affects this area of the coast.

San Bruno and San Crisanto beaches have also been affected.

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A red tide is an event that occurs on the coastline when alga, a plant-like organism, grows out of control – posing a danger to both human and sea life.

Local reports suggest that the phenomenon has created economic loss in the area, and fear among the population.

"We had this problem of the landing of marine species and we are afraid that this will decompose and attract diseases and things that we do not want," said Arelda Chay, Telchac's director of ecology.

The port authority has been called out to clean affected beaches.

It is also affecting tourism, with one visitor to the area calling the stinking beaches a disaster.

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"Unfortunately, nature played a different role today, because we come for a walk, we come constantly, the sea has always been beautiful, it has been beautiful, this time it dawns with this situation, the disastrous thing is to see many dead species," said the tourist.

The Ministry of Health of Yucatan said it is permanently surveilling the red tide and urged locals not to eat sea creatures from the area affected.

Sea creatures will also flee the red tide and congregate in the same area, cuasing many of them to wash up. The Ministry advised against eating these fish, too.

It also called for the population to remain calm and added that initial tests found that the water isn't toxic, and doesn't pose a risk to bathers.

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