Thousands of dead fish wash up due to red tide on Panama City beach, Florida, USA
Beachgoers in Panama City Beach were greeted by a grisly sight as Thousands of dead fish spanning the coastline.
The killer? Red tide.
While red tide this far north is less common than in the south, FSU Oceanographer Dr. Jeff Chanton says it’s nothing new.
“The red tide organism was first observed here in the 1500s by the Spanish explorers,” said Chanton.
The blooms are caused by high nutrient levels in the water. While they can occur naturally, scientists believe the length and severity of the outbreaks have increased due to human use of fertilizers.
Southwest Florida has been experiencing red tide since last October.
“The fish of the Gulf of Mexico suffer terribly because of this. Seabirds suffer because of this. It’s a very disturbing thing,” said Chanton.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it’s investigating whether the red tide in south Florida spread north, or if the outbreak in the Panhandle is a separate, unrelated incident.
Jonathan Webber with Florida Conservation Voters says whether or not the outbreaks are connected, the worsening situation calls for action from the state.
Courtesy of wjhg.com