NCCR to apprise Centre on Chennai beach’s blue glow

Chennai: The National Centre for Coastal Research here will submit a report to the government on the blue glow witnessed in the city’s coastline after completing an analysis following collection of more samples to determine the species that caused it and its impact.

Although samples have been collected, more of it were felt needed to arrive at a firm conclusion, Pravakar Mishra, Scientist, NCCR, said. “Today we are doing offshore sampling and samples are also collected during night,” he said, adding it may take a while to draw inferences and prepare a report.

“Nothing could be now spelt out on what caused the phenomenon and if it will have an impact or not,” he said, adding a report will be sent to the government. The scientist had on Tuesday said samples were being analysed, to ascertain factors like presence or absence of toxicity, the species, and the trigger for its blooming.

Since 18 August night, a blue glow was witnessed in a couple of beaches – Tiruvanmiyur and Elliot’s in and around the city  – which led to animated discussions about it in the social media. On the phenomenon, also known as bioluminescence, Tamil Nadu Dr J Jayalalitha Fisheries University Vice Chancellor S Felix had said it may be due to the blooming of “non-toxic marine dinoflagellate (unicellular organism) species, called Noctiluca scintillans (sea sparkle).”

The species, in view of its phosphorescent glow during night hours, is commonly called “sea sparkle,” the varsity head had said. The bioluminescent light emitted by this organism in the sea water will be blue during night and during day, the water will look greenish.