The red tide continues to contaminate the Tampa Bay area

The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, has been observed along Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties.

FLORIDA, USA – The red tide persists along Florida’s Gulf Coast, but conditions are starting to improve from earlier this year. The patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was detected in 99 samples, according to the latest report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Red tide has lingered in the area for the past few months, killing marine life and causing respiratory irritation in some visitors to the area.

Daily samples from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show that the red tide is still impacting parts of the bay, but not as harshly as in previous months.

Concentrations of flowers were observed in 47 samples, the FWC reports: two from Hernando County offshore, 13 from Pasco County offshore, five from Pinellas County offshore, one from Hillsborough County offshore, 21 from Sarasota, one from Charlotte County and four from offshore Lee County. County. K. brevis was also detected in three samples from Duval County on the east coast of Florida, but not at bloom.

The FWC has a daily sample chart where the public can check red tide levels. This map contains the last eight days of sampling and is updated daily.

Pinellas County primarily experiences low to medium concentration levels of the red tide organism. Other counties like Manatee and Saraota are experiencing medium to high concentrations along its waterways and beaches.

Due to the red tide, Pinellas County cleaned up over 1,400 tons of dead marine life and red tide-related debris. Karenia brevis continues to wreak havoc on the Gulf Coast of Florida and, in particular, the Tampa Bay area.

To report a dead fish to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), call the hotline at 800-636-0511. For more resources, click here.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “red tide” is a harmful algal bloom, or HAB, which is created when sea plants grow out of control and release harmful toxins. These toxins can have negative effects on people, marine mammals, birds, fish and shellfish.

In Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, the species responsible for most red tides is called Karenia brevis and is often abbreviated to K. brevis.

NOAA scientists say that although rare, red tide can cause human illness and even be fatal. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission experts say toxic chemicals from the red tide affect both marine organisms and humans.

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