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Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia

33.8N 10.8E

May 26th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Tunisian coast - May 17th, 2009

Tunisian coast - May 17th, 2009

The eastern coast of Tunisia is framed by water with a greenish tint, particularly along the shores of the Gulf of Gabès.

The gulf is 100 kilometers long and wide, with the Kerkennah Islands on the northeast and Djerba Island on the southeast. It has a large tidal range, 2.5 meters at spring tides.

Phytoplankton growth probably contributes to the green tinge, as the Gulf of Gabès has been shown to have higher phytoplankton concentrations than other areas along the Mediterranean coast, particularly during the summer months.

Scientists have expressed concern over phytoplankton growth and the degradation of water quality in the gulf due to eutrophication, an increase in chemical nutrients in an ecosystem, reports Scientia Magazine.

Eutrophication can negatively affect an ecosystem by increasing its primary productivity (excessive plant growth and decay), and thus causing lack of oxygen and severe reductions in water quality, fish, and other animal populations. Scientists warn that such an occurence in the Gulf of Gabes may have significant socioeconomic consequences.

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