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Mass die off of fish, birds, manatees, shark and other marine life due to red tide in Florida, USA

Florida’s southwest coast, a ribbon of inlets and barrier islands normally brimming with wildlife, has become a red tide slaughterhouse this summer.

Dead fish by the thousands have clogged inlets and canals. Since Sunday, 10 dead Goliath grouper, the massive reef fish that can live four decades or more, have floated to the surface. At least 90 sea turtles have been found stranded as the tide stretches well into nesting season. And Tuesday, as hundreds of residents packed a standing-room-only Cape Coral yacht club to hear about the federal government’s efforts to deal with water conditions, a dead manatee washed up at a nearby boat ramp.

The list goes on: earlier this month the carcass of a whale shark was found on a Sanibel beach with red tide in its muscles, liver, intestines and stomach. Hundreds of double-breasted cormorants, brown pelicans and other seabirds have been sickened or died.

Coupled with a massive blue-green algae bloom that spread across Lake Okeechobee and snaked down the Caloosahatchee River in June, the dire conditions have infuriated businesses and residents, and drawn national attention to the normally quiet tourist towns.

“This is horrific what we’re enduring now, but it needs to be a wake-up call to people that clean water is important to more than just wildlife,” said Heather Barron, a veterinarian and research director at Sanibel’s CROW Clinic wildlife rescue center, which began treating poisoned birds as early as October. “As the person dealing with all these hundreds of dying animals, I’m upset.”

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Mass fish kill ‘due to red tide’ washes up in Englewood, Florida, USA

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Mass fish kill ‘due to red tide’ washes up in Englewood, Florida, USA

Thousands of dead fish washing up again due to red tide in Indian River Lagoon, Florida, USA

Fish Kill Alert
Officials are closely monitoring the Indian River Lagoon after the area experienced warmer-than-average weather during the past several weeks.
Right now, much of the 70-mile-long waterway in Brevard County is dark and cloudy. Officials said it’s the result of algae blooms, soaking up oxygen in the water.
Algae blooms could possibly lead to another massive fish kill.
It’s a mix of many sunny days, and a few cloudy ones, causing the blooms to deplete the oxygen levels.
“The algae didn’t get enough light to photosynthesize during the day, and then when they respired at night, they used the available oxygen up,” Brevard Natural Resources Director Virginia Barker said. “If we see cloudy days, we expect we could see a similar event.”
Rick Sturtevent is a mainstay on the Indian River Lagoon. If anyone knows what the water is like daily, it’s him.
“I’m out there every single day,” said Sturtevent, who fishes the river daily. “It’s murky. You can’t see 6 inches down. I’m hoping they can fix it.”
Barker said this current bloom pattern mirrors what happened in 2016, when a massive fish kill began. It’s not the blooms that kill fish — it’s the lack of oxygen.
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Mass die off of fish due to red tide in Sanibel, Florida, USA

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People on a popular Lee County beach had to avoid dead fish.  Florida Fish and Wildlife says toxic red algae is to blame for all the dead fish that washed up on Sanibel after they detected high levels of red tide along the Lee County coastline.
“It smells bad and the water is very murky,” said Pam Boardman, who walked along the beach Tuesday. “Lots of dead sea life,” she added.
People who visited the beach set up their umbrellas and chairs away from the dead fish.
“I’ve been coughing and sneezing a lot,” said Julie Stevenson, while she was on the beach.
Some happy they brought some medication with them along with their sunscreen.
“I actually took a Claritin,” said Donna Schettina, after a few coughs. “We aren’t going to stay as long as we would like,” she added.
Florida Fish and Wildlife recommends people with respiratory problems to steer clear of toxic red tide.
“People with asthma shouldn’t come,” said Schettina. “I have children who have it and I wouldn’t bring them or my grandchildren,” she added.
Florida Fish and Wildlife says it’s safe to swim but to avoid areas with a lot of dead fish because of the high levels of bacteria. FWC will test the waters again on Friday.
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Large numbers of dead sardines found ‘due to red tide’ in port El Agallito, Panama

Large numbers of dead fish, mainly the sardine known as Gallota, were found dead at the mouth of the La Villa river in the El Agallito de Chitré port area.
According to the regional director of the Aquatic Resources Authority of Panama (ARAP), the mortality of the species was due to the presence of the phenomenon known as the red tide, which has been reported for three weeks on the coasts of Coclé and in The area of ​​Pedasí.
The site came from the ministries of Environment and Health to take samples of the water, which will be sent to the laboratories in Panama to determine the possible causes of the presence of dead fish.
Guillermo Nicholson, director of My Environment in Herrera, said that at first glance it was not possible to show contamination of the river, so the investigations are directed towards the dark spot recorded in the sea, as well as the possibility that Bolicheros boats have Throwing the dying fish back to the sea.
Local fishermen reported that since yesterday afternoon they began to see the first dead fish in the port, which were dragged from the sea by the water.
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86 turtles found dead, ‘due to red tide’ in La Paz and Los Cabos, Mexico

At the moment, specialists in Red Tide, of the CICIMAR, are realizing studies to the tests gathered in the beaches, in order to determine what type of phytoplankton is treated, since this type of organisms, can be toxic or nontoxic, reason why It is important to determine your species
La Paz, Baja California Sur, (BCS). After 86 turtles will be killed off the coast of Los Cabos and La Paz, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa) reported that the specimens had no evidence of fishing gear or any human activity, saying that the cause Of death was for the Red Tide .
These verifications of stranding were carried out jointly with the Municipal Directorate of Natural Resources and Wildlife of the Cabos, as well as the Interdisciplinary Center of Marine Sciences (CICIMAR) , where a total of 86 sea turtles were monitored, most of them Species Prieta, which remained in the beaches of San Jose del Cabo, Cabo Pulmo, La Ribera and Cabo del Este, from February 8 to 15, as well as in El Sargento , in La Paz.
Each and every one of the turtles found on the coasts, had more than 8 days of dead, pointing out that at the same time, 3 tons of crustaceans known as Krill originated, which also showed signs of advanced decomposition.
The dependence explained that in the case of Kril , these were found in different sites of Los Cabos , such as La Linea, Estancia, Piedras Bolas, Antares and Los Frailes Bay , recording likewise the death of lobsters and crabs on beaches Of Eastern Cape.
After finding the remains of marine animals, field data were collected with the local fishermen, who reported seeing water currents and brown spots, and a spice known as Salpas, considering that these turtles commonly feed on Krill, Crabs, Salpas and Lobsters , so that at the time of performing a necropsy, Salpas were poisoned by the organism that produces the Red Tide .
Finally, Profepa added that currently, staff of CICIMAR of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) , in the Department of Marine Biology , specialists in Red Tide , are conducting studies on the samples collected, to determine what type of phytoplankton is involved, Because these types of organisms can be toxic or non-toxic, so it is important to determine their species.
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