More traces of red tide seen
Red tide was detected this week in water samples collected in the Gasparilla and Pine Island Sound systems, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s latest report.
The organism continues to show up in local waters, although there have been no reports of fish kills or impacts on local beaches, according to Mote Marine Laboratory.
Red tide, Karenia brevis or K. brevis, is always present in low levels in local waters, but samples collected Monday by the Sarasota County Health Department and analyzed by Mote show a slight increase in the red tide organism in a few spots in Sarasota County, according to a statement from the health department.
The red tide organism was also detected this week in water samples collected in Gasparilla and Pine Island sounds.
Red tide levels ranged from background to very low concentrations in both Sarasota and Charlotte counties with the highest levels detected at Brohard Beach, the report stated.
“We’ve seen a few areas with increased counts of Karenia brevis cells and we thought it best to take the opportunity now to remind the public of the things that our organizations always do to monitor the situation and the ways the public can get information about current conditions,” said Sarasota County Health Department Environmental Health Administrator Tom Higginbotham, in the county’s latest red tide update. “While red tides can cause mild and short-lived respiratory irritation for most of the population, those with asthma or chronic respiratory impairments really need to be mindful of beach conditions so they can avoid areas if impacts are being reported.”
FWC officials encourage people to call 866-300-9399 “at any time from anywhere in Florida” to hear a recording about red tide conditions throughout the state. Callers outside Florida can dial 727-552-2448. Standard calling charges apply.
Anyone who discovers diseased, abnormal or dead fish — from red tide or any other cause — is asked to call 800-636-0511 and leave a detailed report and contact information on the recorded message. FWC biologists will contact callers, generally the following workday, if more information is needed.
More information about red tide can found on the FWC website at myfwc.com/research/redtide.