Dead fish, red tide, plague Florida tourists, beaches

06 August, 2018, 23:43 | Author: Grady King
  • A boat sails through a deepening algae bloom across the Caloosahatchee River in Labelle Florida on June 27

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

The latest red tide report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows high concentrations in samples collected from Sarasota County southward, meeting the threshold of at least 1 million Karenia brevis cells per liter of water.

An unusual number of dead animals have been washing up on Florida's shores this summer.

Tourists weren't scattered on beaches in southwest Florida on Thursday, but hundreds of dead fish were.

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The cause of these bad scenes: A toxic algal bloom known as red tide.

With red tide, the water might be a little discolored with a hint of red or brown but it's not always visible.

Dozens of sea turtles are also turning up dead.

Sea turtles, manatees, fish and other animals are seeing a spike in their mortality rate during 2018, especially in Southwest Florida. The algae bloom - which gets its name because the microscopic algae often turn water red - has already lasted since November of past year, and could stretch into 2019, some scientists are saying. Red tide is natural.

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Most algae blooms are beneficial to the ocean, providing a source of food for marine creatures.

Health experts say red tide can cause illness in people with severe respiratory conditions.

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

All we do know is that marine life is dying, and there are two different types of algae.

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