Red tide lessens

Red tide sunset
Birds are back on the beach tonight on Anna Maria Island. - Cindy Lane | Sun

Red tide is lessening off Anna Maria Island, according to today’s report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Red tide is a type of algae that emits a neurotoxin when it blooms. Deadly to fish, sea turtles, marine mammals and shorebirds that feed on affected fish, red tide makes shellfish unfit to eat, and can cause respiratory irritation in people, especially those with asthma, COPD, emphysema or other respiratory diseases.

The report shows medium levels of red tide at the Rod & Reel Pier in Anna Maria, low levels at Longboat Pass in Bradenton Beach and none at the Palma Sola Bay bridge, down from high levels at all three locations as of the FWC’s Wednesday, Aug. 29 report.

The Aug. 31 report also shows that red tide levels dropped by as much as 25 percent in the past week, Aug. 25-31, compared to the previous week of Aug. 18-24.

Red tide was detected in Manatee County in background to medium concentrations, an improvement from the previous report which noted high concentrations of the marine algae in Gulf waters.

The report notes that respiratory irritation was reported from Aug. 23-30 at Coquina Beach and Manatee Beach. The last reported fish kill was horseshoe crab and blue crab on Aug. 28 at Longboat Pass in Bradenton Beach.

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties, including Manatee County, predict northwestern movement of surface waters and southeastern movement of subsurface waters over the next three days.

For more information, visit The Sun’s Red Tide Resources.

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