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Is there still red tide off Anna Maria Island? It depends where you’re standing

Despite the presence of red tide, Anna Maria Island is seeing some visitors

The unmistakable throat tickle and smell was present on the beaches of Anna Maria Island, but visitors still came to the beach.
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The unmistakable throat tickle and smell was present on the beaches of Anna Maria Island, but visitors still came to the beach.

Red tide concentrations are lower in some waters off of Manatee County’s coastline this week, according to the latest update from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

However, Karenia brevis algae was still present in high and medium concentrations in other areas off of Anna Maria Island. The trend of patchiness has persisted for weeks, and it means that beaches within a close proximity of one another can see dramatically different effects from red tide.

Pinellas County and areas of Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties also had generally lower concentrations of red tide compared to last week. In other areas off of Sarasota County, concentrations increased.

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Of 13 samples recently taken throughout Manatee County, three came back showing medium concentrations (100,000 to 1 million cells of K. Brevis per liter). Those samples were taken at Palma Sola Bay, Cortez Beach and Longboat Key.

Samples taken at Coquina Beach, the Rod and Reel Pier in Anna Maria and the South Sunshine Skyway Fishing Pier showed low concentrations (10,000 to 100,000 cells of K. Brevis per liter).

Since August, red tide has strongly impacted sea life, business, tourism and the environment on Anna Maria Island.

About half of the samples taken showed red tide not present or at background levels (less than 1,000 cells per liter).

Respiratory irritation and fish kills were again reported in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

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A map produced by the College of Marine Science at University of South Florida and the Florida Wildlife Research Institute depicts red tide forecasts through December 1, 2018. College of Marine Science-University of South Florida

A short-term red tide tracking map produced by the College of Marine Science at University of South Florida and the Florida Wildlife Research Institute predicts that low to medium concentrations of red tide will persist around Anna Maria Island and Manatee County over the next three days.

For more information, call 866-300-9399 anytime from anywhere in Florida to get the latest red tide status report. Call 727-552-2448 from outside Florida.

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