Red tide blooms continue to plague Southwest Florida beaches, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Evidence of fish kills due to red tide and respiratory irritation are particularly intense in Sarasota County.
The red dots on the map below show the highest concentrations of red tide blooms in the Gulf of Mexico as of Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.
Over the past week, K. brevis was observed in 72 samples. Bloom concentrations were present in 40 samples: one in Manatee County, 31 in Sarasota County, one in Charlotte County, five in and offshore of Lee County, and two in and offshore of Collier County.
- In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to low concentrations in Pinellas County, very low to medium concentrations in Manatee County, low to high concentrations in Sarasota County, very low to medium concentrations in and offshore of Charlotte County, background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Lee County, and background to high concentrations in and offshore of Collier County. For additional information, view the Southwest Coast report and map.
- In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in Bay County. For additional information, view the Northwest Coast report and map.
- Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed. For additional information, view the East Coast report and map.
Reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received over the past week in Southwest Florida in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.
Fish die rapidly from the neurotoxic effects of the red tide, which enter their bloodstream through the gills. Because the fish die so quickly, these toxins do not have time to build up in their tissue.
Read more: Dead fish stench: Red tide worsens along Sarasota and Manatee beaches, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12/1/2022
Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported via the Beach Conditions Reporting System over the past week in Southwest Florida in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties.
Additional details are provided in the Southwest Coast report. Reports of respiratory irritation from these counties were also received through the Fish Kill Hotline.
Read more: High risk of red tide irritation in Sarasota, data shows, Bradenton Herald, 12/1/2022
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas County to northern Monroe County predict net western-southwestern movement of surface waters and net southeastern transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3.5 days.
Toxic red tide algae still thriving along Southwest coast, mostly in Sarasota, Marco waters, Fort Myers News-Press, 12/1/2022
Low amounts of Red Tide found near Fort De Soto beach in Pinellas County, Tampa Bay Times, 12/1/2022
Dead fish line Siesta Beach as red tide impacts parts of Sarasota Bay, Fox13 Tampa Bay, 11/28/2022
Storm surge and rain water have fueled red tide bloom, Fox News, 11/28/22
Red Tide Advisories still affecting Suncoast beaches, WWSB, ABC7, 11/28/22
Red tide still plaguing Sarasota and Manatee counties, WUSF, 11/23/22
Here, there, everywhere: Red tide plagues SWFL after Hurricane Ian, WUSF, 11/22/2022
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More from Florida Rambler: Florida Blue-Green Algae updates
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Florida Department of Health
- Protecting Florida Together
- Florida Poison Control Information Center
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Bob Rountree is a retired journalist, beach bum, angler and camper who has explored Florida for decades. No adventure is complete without finding a scenic paddle trail or unpaved road to nowhere. Bob co-founded FloridaRambler.com with fellow journalist Bonnie Gross 11 years ago.