Fish farmers counting the cost of a toxic red tide have welcomed government plans to buy up live fish from fish farms in the eastern and southern coastal areas. Red tide is a natural environmental phenomenon that causes an explosion of red-tinted algae toxins, which are poisonous to fish. The tide was first reported a week ago in the South Kyongsang Province and financial damage to fish farmers in the affected areas is already estimated to run to nearly 3bn won  (US$2.3m).