Summer algae bloom blamed for 450,000 oyster deaths

By: The Associated Press

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. – Summer algae bloom blamed for killing 450,000 oysters in last year’s Rhode Island harvest.

The Westerly Sun reports the algae bloom known as rust tide cut into the state’s largest aquaculture crop. Rust tide appears in Rhode Island waters every summer, but last year’s bloom was particularly widespread.

The algae kills fish but does not pose a risk to humans. It causes the oysters to not grow to harvest size and die at a higher rate.

The state’s aquaculture industry grew in 2016, with nine farms added to production and $5.5 million in total value.

Still, the East Coast Shellfish Association worries about rust tide, which causes massive fish deaths in South Korea.

The country has a similar climate to Rhode Island.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017