November 19, 2003
From: Josh Anderson
Dear Dr Rudman
As you may know, the United States national high school debate topic focuses on U.S. ocean policy and marine natural resources.
Our school is researching a proposal by a neighboring school to solve for red tides by flooding the area with sea hares. As I am high school debate coach and not an expert on ocean studies, I could not begin to determine the scientific validity of the proposal.
If you are willing, would you mind spending a moment to help me understand -- to whatever degree your day allows -- the feasibility of this proposal? We would be most grateful for your help.
We would also welcome any materials that you think might be helpful for high school students researching sea hares and/or red tides. Thank you for any assistance you may be able to provide!
Olathe Northwest High School
Olathe, Kansas, U.S.A.
email@example.comAnderson, J., 2003 (Nov 19) Sea Hares & Red Tides. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/11444
I guess you want a quick answer. I'm afraid the red tide part of the story is a bit outside my field of expertise other than to say it is caused be microscopic phytoplankton - ie one-celled plants floating in the sea. I've listed a couple of web sites below but there are many
Sea Hares don't eat phytoplankton - they feed on macroalgae - that is seaweeds attached to the bottom. See Sea Hares Page for links to much more information.
So basically they would have no interest in red tides and in the low oxygen conditions caused by the red tide organisms they would most likely die and their carcases would add to any pollution
Hope that helps
Good Luck with your debate
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