Red tide cited after manatees, thousands of fish found dead in Florida

The red tide algae is deadly to fish and cause irritation in humans

The red tide algae is deadly to fish and cause irritation in humans

Red tide is a "naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida's Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs almost every year". The county has also provided dumpster sites for residents as far south as Bonita Springs to dispose of dead fish.

"FWC and DEP will enhance cleanup efforts, public awareness initiatives and water testing to ensure that Floridians understand the best ways to minimize the impact of red tide", a press release added.

Red tide is not the only algae outbreak that has killed marine life in Florida, with a blue-green algae bloom - that started in Lake Okeechobee - poisoning freshwater rivers in the region. Tissue taken from the whale shark's organs and muscles tested positive for brevetoxin, a neurotoxin created by the algae.

"Many people will tell you that this is the worst they have ever seen", Jacylin Bevis, a reporter with the NBC affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida, told NBC News.

The blooms are killing fish and marine life.

To report an injured, sick or dead marine animal contact the FWC at 1-888-404-FWCC.

The Florida red tide organism, known as Karenia Brevis, produces brevetoxins that can affect the central nervous system of fish and other vertebrates, causing these animals to die.

There have already been at least 490 manatee deaths this year as well, with 80 of them likely caused by red tide.

But the bloom is not only unsafe to marine animals.

The harmful algae bloom has also been hurting businesses in the area.

"We are seeing more than double the number of animals being impacted at this time of the year, from the red tide", said Trindell.

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