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Latest: Red tide reported off Pasco, Pinellas, Charlotte counties

Last updated on September 8th, 2021 at 05:28 pm

A patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Over the past week, K. brevis was detected in 48 samples with the highest concentrations off Pasco, Pinellas and Charlotte counties, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed in 19 samples: three offshore of Hernando County, five in and offshore of Pasco County, seven in and offshore of Pinellas County, two from Sarasota County, and two from Charlotte County. Additional details are provided below.

Click here for Daily Red Tide map

In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to high concentrations in and offshore of Pinellas County (in nine samples), background to medium concentrations in Sarasota County (in 16 samples), background to high concentrations in Charlotte County (in five samples), and background to very low concentrations in and offshore of Lee County (in three samples). Samples collected from or offshore of Hillsborough, Manatee, and Collier counites did not contain K. brevis.

In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to medium concentrations offshore of Hernando County (in eight samples) and very low to high concentrations in and offshore of Pasco County (in seven samples). Samples collected from or offshore of Santa Rosa, Bay, Franklin, and Levy counties did not contain K. brevis

Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.

Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported along and/or offshore of Southwest Florida in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties over the past week. 

For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

Red tide samplings as of 9/7/2021

Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported along and/or offshore of Florida’s Gulf Coast in Citrus, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties over the past week. 

For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported over the past week in Southwest Florida in Pinellas, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties. 

For recent and current information at individual beaches, please visit https://visitbeaches.org/ and for forecasts that use FWC and partner data, please visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org/

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict net southeastern transport of surface and subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3.5 days.

FWC-FWRI is working closely with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other partners on the Piney Point response effort.

Status updates and results are posted on the Protecting Florida Together website  (https://protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPointUpdate) and on the Tampa Bay Estuary Program website (https://shiny.tbep.org/piney-point/).

The next complete status report will be issued on Friday, September 10. Please check our daily sampling map, which can be accessed via the online status report on our Red Tide Current Statuspage. For more information on algal blooms and water quality, please visit Protecting Florida Together

This information, including maps and reports with additional details, is also available on the FWRI Red Tide website.

The website also provides links to additional information related to the topic of Florida red tide including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, the FWC Fish Kill Hotline, the Florida Poison Information Center (to report human health effects related to exposure to red tide), and other wildlife related hotlines.

County by county:

Additional Reporting

WUSF Public Media: Red Tide Bloom Remains Along Pinellas, While Dispersing From Sarasota — 9/3/21


Florida Department of Health

Avoid Red Tide

Toxins from red tide can cause breathing problems and irritate your eyes, nose and throat. Reactions to red tide are worse for people with asthma, emphysema, bronchitis or any chronic lung disease. If you have health issues, stay away from areas with red tide. Pets can become sick from red tide so keep them away from those areas as well as contaminated marine animals and fish.

If you come into contact with red tide, wash off with soap and water. You can get relief from respiratory symptoms by being in an air-conditioned space. For people without asthma or chronic respiratory problems, over-the-counter antihistamines can help. If your symptoms don’t get better, see a doctor.

SWIMMING.  Don’t swim in or around red tide because the toxin can cause skin irritation, rashes and burning and sore eyes.

DEAD FISH. Red tides can kill fish and other marine life—avoid contact and don’t swim or walk in these areas. Keep your pets away from these areas.

RED TIDE AND FISH.  Don’t harvest or eat distressed or dead fish (or any animals) from or near a red tide. Fish caught live and healthy can be eaten if filleted and rinsed thoroughly with fresh water.

RED TIDE AND SHELLFISH. Crabs, lobsters, shrimp, clams, oysters and scallops are filter feeders that can concentrate toxins. These and other shellfish, if harvested from red tide areas, can be contaminated with brevetoxins. The muscle of the scallop is free of toxin but the rest of the scallop is not.

WHAT IS RED TIDE? Common name for harmful algal blooms occurring along coastal regions in Florida from large concentrations of aquatic microorganisms, specifically an organism called karenia brevis. Bloom events are stimulated by nutrients from terrestrial runoff containing fertilizer, sewage and livestock wastes.


A note from the editor:

The information in this article was accurate when published but can change without notice. Please confirm details when planning your trip by following the links in this article.

This article is the property of FloridaRambler.com and is protected by U.S. Copyright Law. Re-publication without written permission is against the law.


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Susan

Saturday 14th of August 2021

Thank you for publishing information about red tide. This has been going on for several weeks not just this last week. I live near the beach in Sarasota county. I feel so bad for tourists who come down with no idea that this is going on. It is not publicized or reported much. The signs alerting people are very inconspicuous. Many lodging properties and hotels do not tell their guests. We’ve also had closures due to bacteria in the water. It is bad enough that our state government is not proactive in solving this problem for all of us, but at least tell people what’s going on for safety reasons. Florida rambler is awesome. Thank you for all your publications! Susan

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