Thursday, 15 October 2015
Now Gulf Of Mexico ecosystem stressed: Red tide is now killing tons of fish from Mexico to west coast of Florida
Red tide is now killing tons of fish from Mexico to Florida as new reports of dead fish washing up on Turtle beach on the west coast of Florida.
Earlier reports of this week of more than 14 tons of dead fish washed up at Tamaulipas beaches in Mexico and thousands upon thousands of Shad, Flounder and Trout had washed ashore at Freeport Texas as a new fish kill baffles experts
Before beachgoers even reach the sand at Turtle Beach they can smell it.
"The stench when you get out of your car in the parking lot before you even get the beach is overwhelming," said longtime resident of Siesta Key Sandy Thompson.
On the beach hundreds of dead fish are floating in the bay or washing up on shore.
It's all caused by algae known as red tide, named for the way it discolors the water.
The microorganism produces a toxin that can affect the central nervous system of fish birds and other mammals.
It also effects people, irritating the skin and causing respiratory problems.
"Makes me concerned," said visitor Steve Shill.
"If it's that bad for the fish, how good is it to go in there swimming"
At Mote Marine Laboratory, scientists are monitoring the red tide situation closely, collecting and analyzing samples.
They've seen an increase in signs of the harmful algae on the Suncoast this week, particularly at Venice North Jetty, Siesta Key and Nokomis Beach.
"By cell counts that we've received over the last few weeks and also satellite imagery that we've been able to see, it appears to be limited to more or less Sarasota County," said Mote Marine scientist Vincent Lovko.
But red tide blooms can change weekly or even daily due to wind conditions or water currents and Lovko says it's hard to tell how large this bloom will be.
"It's really hard to say right now," said Lovko.
"This one could disperse or get larger at this point we just need to keep monitoring and see what happens."