Red tide cited after manatees, thousands of fish found dead in Florida

06 August, 2018, 23:41 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
  • Beaches at Boca Grande have been affected

The blooms are killing fish and marine life.

The Florida red tide organism, known as Karenia Brevis, produces brevetoxins that can affect the central nervous system of fish and other vertebrates, causing these animals to die.

Red tide is a naturally-occurring toxic algae that often occurs along florida's gulf coast.

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Mote Marine Laboratory scientists caution that time is of the essence in delivering care to an animal sickened by red tide.

"Pictures are recent and within July, most from Lee County", he wrote. "It's our entire south Florida coastline with the red tide and then with the blue-green algae on the rivers and canals".

Red tide, which refers to higher than normal algae blooms of the organism Karenia brevis, happens nearly annually and has been a natural occurrence for centuries.

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Dolphins, manatees, sea turtles and even a whale shark have washed ashore in southern Florida.

Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are working to release some of the toxic water from the lake.

"It's certainly disgusting", said Amy Benton, who walked along the shoreline early Thursday with a scarf over her nose and mouth as protection.

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"This is horrific what we're enduring now, but it needs to be a wake-up call to people that clean water is important to more than just wildlife", Sanibel's Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife veterinarian Heather Barron told the Miami Herald. Things are so serious that Florida Governor Rick Scott issued an executive order last month to combat the algae, urging local agencies to take emergency actions - including redirecting the flow of water to curb the growth of the blooms.

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