Florida

Fish kills reported on some Southwest Florida beaches. Blame it on red tide

The latest red tide update from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission isn’t due out for another day, but reports of red tide naking a comeback along Florida’s southwest coastline are growing.

Manatee County beaches are free and clear.

According to the Sept. 27 FWC red tide update, Karenia brevis — the organism response for red tide — was observed to be at low conditions offshore in southern Lee County and through much of Collier County. However, even before the next update is released Friday, FWC is reporting those levels in select areas of Collier County have risen to medium concentrations.

It’s having an impact, according to the Naples Daily News.

Medium concentrations were reported at Barefoot Beach and Vanderbilt Beach.

Once levels rise into the medium category, respiratory irritation and fish kills are likely, as well the closures of any shellfish harvesting operations in the affected zone.

Collier County officials tell the Naples Daily News that “intermittent” fish kills are being reported.

A small bloom appeared in Lee County last week at low conditions and testing is intensifying as warnings are already going out to people with respiratory issues who may be impacted by the presence of red tide.

Red tide “season” officially begins Oct. 1. It was in October of 2017 that the first blooms formed that would eventually turn 2018 into a tourism nightmare for businesses and tourism officials in Manatee County.

A red tide “advisory” is now in effect for Collier County, according to the city of Naples.

“Transport models predict that this will continue in Collier County for several days,” the city’s website states. “People with chronic respiratory illnesses such as asthma or emphysema should avoid going to the beach as these illnesses may be aggravated.”

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, which can forecast bloom travels a few days out based on tides and currents, say this bloom in Collier County is, “patchy in nature and levels of respiratory irritation will vary locally.”

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Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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