Red tide status report from FWC 8/24
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission sent this bulletin at 08/24/2018 04:37 PM EDT
A bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida and currently extends from Pinellas to Collier counties along ~145 miles of coastline. Observations of >1,000,000 K. brevis cells per liter (“high” concentrations) continue to occur at coastal and inshore sites from Manatee to northern Collier counties, and minimal change in cell concentrations was observed for most areas relative to last week. Coastal currents important for transporting cells of K. brevis continue to alternate between predominantly northern or southern flow. Aerial surveys from Pinellas to northern Charlotte counties indicated the presence of offshore blooms of the marine cyanobacterium, Trichodesmium. More specific details are provided below and at http://myfwc.com/redtidestatus.
In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to medium concentrations in Pinellas County, very low to high concentrations in Manatee County, background to high concentrations in Sarasota County, low to high concentrations in or offshore of Charlotte County, very low to high concentrations in or offshore of Lee County, and background to high concentrations in Collier County.
In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in one sample collected from Escambia County.
Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.
We continue to receive reports of fish kills in Southwest Florida. Over the past week, reports were received for multiple locations in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier counties. More detailed information is available at http://myfwc.com/fishkill.
Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Lee, and Collier counties.
Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict variable movement of surface waters, with net southern transport in most offshore areas and net northern transport close to shore, and net southeastern transport of subsurface waters over the next three days.
This information, including maps and reports with additional details, is also available on the FWRI Red Tide website. The website also provides links to additional information related to the topic of Florida red tide including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, the FWC Fish Kill Hotline, the Florida Poison Information Center (to report human health effects related to exposure to red tide), and other wildlife related hotlines.
To learn more about various organisms that have been known to cause algal blooms in Florida waters, see the FWRI Red Tide Flickr page. Archived status maps can also be found on Flickr.
The FWRI HAB group in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory now have a Facebook page. Please like our page and learn interesting facts concerning red tide and other harmful algal blooms in Florida.
Additional information regarding the current status of algal blooms in South Florida is being consolidated and posted on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s website: https://floridadep.gov/dear/algal-bloom.