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Planning a trip to the beach? Here’s the latest on red tide along Manatee’s coast

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.

Concentrations of red tide steadily decreased over the past week, according to an update from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

According to its report on Friday, FWC detected the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, in “background to medium concentrations” both on and off the coast of Manatee County. No high concentrations were reported, unlike Wednesday’s mid-week update.

Concentrations were low in the sample taken from Anna Maria Island’s Rod and Reel Pier, and medium concentrations were reported at Cortez Beach.

“Relative to last week, K. brevis concentrations generally decreased in Pinellas, Manatee and Charlotte counties, and some areas of Sarasota, Lee and Collier counties,” the report states.

The amount of medium- and high-level samples dropped between 5 and 25 percent in Manatee. While local concentrations decreased, samples worsened in some parts of Sarasota, Lee and Collier counties, according to the report.

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Dead fish were reported at the Palma Sola Bay Causeway on Wednesday, and respiratory irritation was present at Coquina Beach and Manatee Beach between Nov. 22 and Thursday.

According to data from Mote Marine Laboratory, no fish kills or respiratory problems were detected at Manatee Beach on Friday afternoon. Slight irritation affected visitors to Coquina Beach, while “intense” irritation plagued Siesta Key.

Mote’s Beach Condition Reporting System is available at visitbeaches.org.

For updated reports from the FWC, call 866-300-9399 from anywhere in the state, or 727-552-2448 when calling from outside of Florida.

To report a dead, sick or injured manatee or sea turtle, call the agency’s 24-7 hotline at 888-404-3922. And to assist researchers with the locations of dead fish, call the Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511.

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