Red tide is weaker off Anna Maria Island, latest report says. Will it continue to decline?

Red tide concentrations continue to weaken in Manatee and other Southwest Florida counties, according to the latest update from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

High concentrations of Karenia brevis algae that had persisted for weeks no longer were present in samples taken at sites on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key.

While medium concentrations occurred at two sites in Manatee County and two sites in Sarasota County, red tide’s presence decreased overall. The bloom remains patchy, impacting different areas week by week.

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Of 10 samples recently taken throughout Manatee County, two came back showing medium concentrations (100,000 to 1 million cells of K. Brevis per liter). Both samples were taken at Palma Sola Bay. Hundreds of dead catfish washed up in the area last week.

A sample taken at Cortez Beach showed low concentrations (10,000 to 100,000 cells of K. Brevis per liter).

Samples taken at the Rod and Reel Pier in Anna Maria, Robinson Preserve and Coquina Beach showed very low concentrations (1,000 to 10,000 cells per liter).

Samples taken west of Manatee River and near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge showed that red tide was not present or at background levels (less than 1,000 cells per liter).

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Respiratory irritation and fish kills again were 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 15, 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 very 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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Ryan Ballogg covers arts, entertainment, dining, breaking and local news for the Bradenton Herald. He won first place for feature writing in the Florida Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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