Red Tide on Siesta Key and Longboat Key, This Past Weekend
Waters Offshore in Manatee County.... and Beaches on Siesta Key and Longboat Key, Saw Issues
This past Sunday afternoon (4/11/21), dead fish and respiratory irritation were present at several of area beaches on Longboat Key and Siesta Key, according to Mote Marine Laboratory’s live conditions beach tracker, which is updated by lifeguards. That tracker (link above) showed that beaches along Anna Maria Island were free of red tide impacts, this past weekend.
To the North red tide was detected at low, medium and high concentrations in the last several days offshore of Manatee County.
In fact multiple samples confirmed that red tide remains at at high concentrations in the waters of Tampa Bay especially, between Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Pinellas county is seeing the worst effects of the bloom.
The issues in Pinellas County, prompted the National Weather Service to issue a statement advising people to stay out of the water for several days in coastal southern Pinellas County.
The Florida Wildlife Commission will issue its next red tide status report this Wednesday (4/14/21).
As a reminder, if you are familiar with Red Tide… Exposure to elevated levels of red tide can cause people to experience burning or itching of the eyes, nose and throat, and it can cause more severe reactions for people with respiratory conditions like asthma. The symptoms usually stop once out of the affected area.
Health officials in Sarasota County recently issued some advice for beach visitors or residents who may encounter red tide:
Do not swim around dead fish.
If you have chronic respiratory problems, consider staying away from the beach as red tide can affect your breathing.
Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam and dead sea life.
Residents living in beach areas are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (making sure that the A/C filter is maintained according to manufacturer’s specifications).
If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.
If red tide-induced symptoms do not subside, contact your health care provider for evaluation.
As a reminder... Red tide’s affect on beach conditions is often patchy, meaning one beach can have unpleasant conditions while a nearby beach is free of impacts. Mote Marine Laboratory provides frequent updates on local beach conditions in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota area at visitbeaches.org.
Fish kill reports that help state officials track red tide blooms can be made to FWC at 800-636-0511 or myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline.