Red Tides Leaving Nothing in Their Wake

Florida's algae-infested shores have detrimental effects on marine life and all life.

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Red Tides Leaving Nothing in Their Wake

Flickr User AJC1

Flickr User AJC1

Flickr User AJC1

Matty Mendez, Reporter

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From 30-foot whale sharks to the tiniest of minnows, no aquatic creature is safe from the mass of red tide plaguing Florida’s oceans for the past months and foreseeable near future. Floridian shores have never been safe from algae-produced neurotoxins and a breakout of Karenia brevis, which is not an irregular occurrence for the Sunshine State.

This time around, however, the tides have taken their toll on our state’s wildlife. A few hundred sea turtles, a dozen dolphins, a hundred manatees, and countless fish have been washed up onto the shore, falling victim to the toxic microorganisms. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the red tide spans 145 miles of coastline, the highest concentration taking up a major part of the southwest coast near Tampa. There is no ‘cure; for the red tide but strong, hurricane-force winds could send the tide away from Florida. This is the longest-red tide in recorded history and it is best for Floridians to simply wait it out. New fishing rules are in place for the state and it is important for citizens to pay attention to news on the tides to keep informed on any additional restrictions.