[MARINE_BIOLOGY_INTERNATIONAL] Red tide causes fish kill in Lee County


Red tide causes fish kill in Lee County

Dec 28, 2011 8:42 PM EST

Dead fish are washing up on Bunche Beach because of red tide. The latest water samples from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show there is a large patch of red tide just south of Sanibel Island.

"There's a lot of dead fish. It's really nasty. [There are] eels, horseshoe crabs, it's sick," said Skippy Svitil of the Sanibel Sea School.

Red tide has caused hundreds of dead fish to wash ashore on Bunche Beach in Lee County.

"Red tide is a condition that's caused by a microscopic phytoplankton that grows very well under certain conditions," said Dr. Bruce Neill of the Sanibel Sea School.

Those conditions are warm temperatures and little wind.

The same conditions Southwest Florida has been experiencing since the bloom first appeared in October.

"When there are a lot of cells in the water, there are a lot of cells that are dying. When they die they disarm rate and decompose releasing that chemical out into the water," said Neill.

Read tide causes marine life to suffocate.

"The chemical that they make is a neurotoxin it attacks the nerve cells of vertebrate animals," said Neill.

The bloom has also changed, from one large 30 mile long patch, to millions of smaller ones from southern Lee County south to Key West.

"There's is a patch of water that has red tide growing in it but surround it are portions of water that are perfectly clean," said Neill.

Red tide can cause difficulty breathing in humans. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, head to another beach. Most are clean.

Cold weather can kill red tide cells, but it's not cold enough to kill the toxin yet.

Right now the water temperature is about 68 degrees. It needs to drop at least another 10 to have an impact on the red tide.

NBC News


Stay on top of your group activity without leaving the page you're on - Get the Yahoo! Toolbar now.




Post a Comment