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

07 August 2018
Red tide cited after manatees, thousands of fish found dead in Florida

Red tide is not the only algae outbreak that has killed marine life in Florida, with a blue-green algae bloom - that started in Lake Okeechobee - poisoning freshwater rivers in the region.

"We came for the shark teeth, but we're going to have to move somewhere else", said Sol Whitten, who came from a county north of Tampa with his wife, six grandchildren and his daughter-in-law.

Red tides at Sanibel Island in Florida have continued to leave beaches looking like graveyards, with dozens of fish and other sea life washed up on the shore.

They say almost 300 sea turtles have died since the toxic bloom began in the fall, that's about double the average number.

Red tide is a naturally-occurring toxic algae that often occurs along florida's gulf coast. "We will continue to support Florida's biologists to study the best ways to combat red tide, and our state wildlife and environmental professionals will aid Florida communities that are being impacted".

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reports that dead fish have been found in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier and Monroe counties and include such species as grouper, trout, eel, snook, tarpon, hardhead catfish and assorted baitfish. 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. Instead, they're strewn with the corpses of dead marine creatures, victims of a red tide. The algae can also cause respiratory problems in humans.