Red Tide kills thousands of fish in Siesta Key

Mindy Sparks
August 6, 2018

The sparkling white sand of Florida's southwestern beaches aren't dotted with sunbathers this week.

The state wildlife agency says red tide, a type of algae, has been a naturally occuring phenomenon along Florida's Gulf Coast since at least the 1840s and that blooms occur almost every year in the Gulf of Mexico. At least 90 sea turtles have been found stranded as the tide stretches well into nesting season.

Respiratory irritation and murky clumps of red drift algae have been reported from Collier to Sarasota counties on Florida's west coast, which is usually known for its stunning beaches.

"This whale shark was definitely exposed to the bloom, and we know brevetoxins (are deadly)", spokeswoman Kelly Richmond of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission told the Washington Post.

The harmful algae bloom has also been hurting businesses in the area.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, almost 300 sea turtles have died since a red tide algae bloom started late past year between Sarasota and Collier counties. FWC arrived and is helping to transport the manatee to SeaWorld in Orlando, where it will be treated and monitored until it can be released back into the wild.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials have been trying to save as many sea turtles as they can.

What is Florida Red Tide?

Most algae blooms are beneficial to the ocean, providing a source of food for marine creatures. Higher than normal concentrations are called blooms and the toxins in them can kill fish, crabs, and other marine life. The red tide is going strong - and has been joined by toxic blue-green algae invading Lake Okeechobee, and several of the state's rivers and canals, Newsweek said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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