Red tide kills sea turtles, thousands of fish on Gulf Coast
Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 4:01 PM - Florida Governor Rick Scott called for the state to step up efforts to combat the "red tide" of microscopic algae off 160 km of the state's southwestern Gulf Coast that has littered beaches with dead fish and also killed sea turtles and manatees, and causing respiratory problems in some people.
Dead sea life and respiratory problems have been reported in Gulf Coast counties Collier, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) said on Friday.
The current red tide is in its 10th month, seven months short of one that hit the same area from fall 2004 to 2006, the FWC said.
The red tide is a collection of microscopic algae that is often red when in high concentrations and it produces toxins than can harm and sometimes kill sea life.
The algae blooms that start 15 to 65 km offshore occur naturally and travel by winds and currents. The red tides, which occur most every year, were first noticed off the Gulf Coast in the 1840s, the FWC said.