Manatee found paralyzed from red tide

06 August, 2018, 22:39 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • A deepening algae bloom seen at a canal behind houses on the south side of Calooshatchee River in the River Oaks on June 27

Red tide is a "naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida's Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs almost every year".

Mote Marine Laboratory scientists caution that time is of the essence in delivering care to an animal sickened by red tide. The state's governor has declared a state of emergency.

While biologists are still working to determine the cause of death, if the algae bloom did play a role, it would be the first known incident in which a whale shark has been killed by a bloom. "We're even seeing large loggerhead sea turtles being effected, and that's because this red tide has lasted into the nesting season".

Tourists weren't scattered on beaches in southwest Florida on Thursday, but hundreds of dead fish were.

It is believed a combination of coastal pollution and nutrient-laden water being flushed into the warm waters of the gulf from Lake Okeechobee have caused the particularly severe red tide.

Social media has been inundated with images of dead animals that failed to escape the toxic bloom washing up on the Gulf of Mexico beaches across Florida. The FWC reports that this recent bloom has been monitored since November.


The blooms are killing fish and marine life.

Also this week, a manatee in distress from exposure to red tide in southwest Florida was taken to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitation.

Red tide blooms produce toxic chemicals that can affect both marine organisms and humans.

Lee County has paired with private contractors to begin removing dead fish from its beaches, but officials warned that it could be a long and ongoing process.

The Miami Herald reported the blue-green algae outbreak had grabbed national attention.

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