Low concentrations of red tide are predicted in Island waters from Oct. 13-15 by NOAA and the University of South Florida/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides.
Today’s report from the FWC shows that red tide had decreased in waters off Anna Maria Island before Hurricane Michael passed by on Oct. 10.
The Oct. 12 report shows that Manatee County water samples with medium or high levels of red tide decreased from 5 percent to 25 percent from the previous week.
Low concentrations of red tide were found in water samples on Oct. 8 at Longboat Pass, with very low concentrations at the Rod & Reel Pier in Anna Maria and background concentrations at Cortez Beach in Bradenton Beach, with none at the Palma Sola Bay bridge.
Background concentrations of red tide cause no anticipated effects. Low levels can cause respiratory irritation, shellfish harvesting closures and possible fish kills. Medium levels can cause respiratory irritation, shellfish harvesting closures and probable fish kills. High levels can cause all of the above, plus water discoloration.
Respiratory irritation was reported on Oct. 4, and from Oct. 6-8 and Oct. 10-11 at Coquina Beach (Bradenton Beach), and Oct. 5-7 and Oct. 10-11 at Manatee Beach (Holmes Beach).
Fish kills also were reported in Manatee County over the past week.
Red tide is a type of algae that emits a neurotoxin when it blooms. Deadly to fish, sea turtles, marine mammals and shorebirds that feed on affected fish, red tide makes shellfish unfit to eat, and can cause respiratory irritation in people, especially those with asthma, COPD or other respiratory diseases.