Tons of crayfish were seen crawling out of the ocean at Elands Bay from the evening of January, 15 because of the red tide.
The Department of Land, Forestry and Fishery, with the help fo the District Municipality and the Cederberg municipality and the Extend Public Works Programme (EPWP), attempted to collect as much of the crayfish as possible to place them safely back into the sea.
Members of communities didn’t waste anytime and rushed to pick up crayfish for themselves, but were quickly stopped by the police. SAPS will be patrolling the area in the evenings while this event is still taking place.
“The community’s cooperation is asked not to pick up the crayfish for their own gain,” wrote the Cederberg Municipality in a Facebook post.
The crayfish are leaving the water en masse as a result of the current red tide in the area. A red tide happens as a result of algal bloom, a large concentration of underwater microorganisms. This can happen as a result of a series of natural events which cause an increase in nutrients for the algae, leading to the bloom.
It can be harmful to sea life because of the toxins released during this event. Oxygen underwater also diminishes this time, which is why the crayfish are currently fleeing the ocean.
Picture/s: Cederberg Municipality/ Facebook.