Red tide lessening

Red tide map
The red tide forecast through Oct. 1 shows medium to high concentrations around Anna Maria Island.

Today’s report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) shows that red tide decreased in waters off Anna Maria Island during the past week.

Forecasters predict medium to high concentrations of red tide in Island waters through at least Oct. 1.

The Sept. 28 report shows that Manatee County red tide levels are from 5 percent to 25 percent lower than the previous week. High concentrations were found in water samples on Sept. 24 at the Rod & Reel Pier in Anna Maria. Medium concentrations were found on Sept. 24 at Longboat Pass and Cortez Beach, both in Bradenton Beach, with none at the Palma Sola Bay bridge.

Background concentrations of red tide cause no anticipated effects. Low levels can cause respiratory irritation, shellfish harvesting closures and possible fish kills. Medium levels can cause respiratory irritation, shellfish harvesting closures and probable fish kills. High levels can cause all of the above, plus water discoloration.

Respiratory irritation was reported from Sept. 20 and Sept. 22-26 at Coquina Beach (Bradenton Beach) and Sept. 20-21, Sept. 23 and Sept. 25-26 at Manatee Beach (Holmes Beach).

Fish kills also were reported in Manatee County over the past week.

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 or other respiratory diseases.