Did red tide kill this 26-foot-long whale shark in Florida?

13 August, 2018, 20:22 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Already endangered sea turtles are at the mercy of the algae menace

The above graphic shows the "harmful algae bloom" (HAB) trajectories for red tide over the next 3-5 days. That was the message from Kelli Levy, Environmental Management director, during an August 7 County Commission meeting. Fish populations generally bounce back after a Red Tide, but the toxic bloom is also wreaking havoc among more sensitive animals. But this one has lasted for more than nine months.

But it is hard to predict where it might go in the coming days and weeks.

Is Red Tide heading to Pinellas Countys beaches? They found another two on the morning of August 8, and two more the afternoon of that same day.

Holmes Beach Det. Sgt. Brian Hall issued a press release Monday afternoon on red tide. Levy said it had been recorded in Florida since the 1940s.

Perhaps the most significant change with this update is that the northern extent of the algae bloom has grown, with high concentrations measured all the way north to the mouth of Tampa Bay. A bloom occurs when colonies of the algae grow out of control. So far, they've only saved manatee victims of red tide.

"We've tried and tried to look for the causes of red tide", Richard Pierce, a senior scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, told National Geographic. She's a hairdresser and makeup artist who styled herself as a dead mermaid and posted photos on social media to raise awareness of the problem.

"The red tide bloom has arrived on the beaches of Holmes Beach".

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Kills a lot of it. Work crews all up and down the coast have been going out on the beaches every morning and scooping up thousands and thousands of dead fish.

Visitors shy away from areas that smell due to dead fish and red tide also can cause eye, nose and throat irritation.

Fish kills have been reported over the past week in multiple locations in Manatee County, in Sarasota County, in Charlotte County, in Lee County, and in and offshore of Collier County. Water samples are collected and studied weekly by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and the latest samples show high concentrations of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, present from Anna Maria Island southward. The report from August 8 said red tide was observed at background to low concentrations in two samples collected from Pinellas.

"They call everyday. They'll call everyday and ask us 'How's your fish not being affected by and how's your shrimp not being affected by red tide?'", Vicki Ely, a market clerk at Skip One Seafood, said.

The dolphins were found in various parts of the Sarasota County coastline.

Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in numerous places along Florida's west coast.

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