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NP QUARTERLY

June 2019

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Cover Story

Azure Enthused by Night Waves – Kinmen’s Blue Tears

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Capturing this photo of the Blue Tears reflecting the starry sky requires long exposure photography technique. / Chin-Hsi Hsu
Capturing this photo of the Blue Tears reflecting the starry sky
requires long exposure photography technique. / Chin-Hsi Hsu

Interviewee / Chin-Hsi Hsu (Board Director, Kinmen Photographers Association)
Article / Hui-Ying Lui Photo / Chin-Hsi Hsu

“It was about three years ago that we start to notice ‘Blue Tears’ occurring at Kinmen’s shoreline. It was first discovered in Cihu, then also seen in Chenggong and Liaolou. On the whole, Blue Tears first occurred along the coast of the Taiwan Strait, then later the illuminating phenomenon was observed even on the shallower coast facing China.”, Chin-Hsi Hsu s a i d . Th e luminescence of the Blue Tears is caused by tides, topography, currents, wind direction, and rainfall; even light sources such as moonlight would affect the observation. Therefore, it is best observed without any light interference.

The famous Matsu Blue Tears are mainly formed by single cell dinoflagellate algae species that can emit blue fluorescence. There are different opinions on the causes of their formation. Latest research indicates that the accumulation of the Blue Tears algae species is mainly related to the large-scale occurrence of their food source – diatom. Whether i t involves seawater eutrophication or pollution is yet to be further studied. As for the organic composition of the Kinmen Blue Tears, there is no specific identification results yet.

Every year from the end of March to the end of May is the best time to observe Kinmen’s Blue Tears. Especially at full tide, it can be easily seen near the Ci Causeway at Cihu and the coast of Chenggong. When entering the intertidal zone at night, be sure to pay attention to your own safety and watch for the tides. Be careful not to disturb the seawater intentionally. It is still necessary to carry light sources such as flashlights.

Due to the influence of long-term militar y control, even Kinmen natives who are born and raised here do not know how rich Kinmen’s intertidal zone is. “In fact, we hope to use the Blue Tears as an introduction to let people g et closer and understand more about Kinmen’s intertidal zone!” Chin-Hsi Hsu and his companions who care about the ecology of the intertidal zone all expect that the Blue Tears is not only a subject of photography, but hope this luminous blue will become the light that attracts people to reconnect and pay attention to Kinmen’s coastal ecology.

We hope to attract people knowing more about Kinmen’s intertidal ecology through the lights of Blue Tears. / Chin-Hsi Hsu
We hope to attract people knowing more about Kinmen’s intertidal ecology
through the lights of Blue Tears. / Chin-Hsi Hsu

 

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