Lake Retba

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The Lake Retba’s waters are virtually devoid of life is on the verge of disappearing due to pollution and mining.

About Lake Retba

  • It is also known as Lac Rose (the Pink Lake). 
  • Location: It is located north of the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal, northeast of Dakar.
  • The lake is isolated from the sea by sand dunes.
  • Its fresh water comes from the seasonal water table in the dunes, which are higher than the lake. Thus the sea provides most of the lake’s water and all of its salt.
  • The Pink Lake is one of the main tourist destinations in the Dakar region, primarily because of the pink colour of its waters.
  • Why it is pink?
    • The pink coloration is due to the proliferation of halophilic green algae (living in a salty environment), Dunaliella salina, which contain red pigments.
    • The alga is associated with halophilic bacteria of the genus Halobacterium.
    • This microscopic alga’s resistance to salt comes from its high concentration of carotenoid pigments, which protect it from light, and its high glycerol content.
    • In fact, Dunaliella salina contains at least four antioxidant pigments (beta-carotene, astaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin), which are rich in vitamins and trace elements.
    • When salinity is high, algae with red pigments thrive, and when salinity is low, they give way to other algae rich in green pigments.

Q1) What is a halophile?

It is an organism that lives in an environment that has a high salinity such as ocean and solid salt crystals. Halophiles are found thriving in habitats with a high concentration of salt, such as in the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

Source: Senegal’s pink lake is on the verge of disappearing — how to protect it