Red tide off northwest Florida could hit economy

Red tide off northwest Florida could hit economy
In this aerial view shows Coquina Beach, Fla., with an algae bloom off shore in this Aug. 23, 2006 file photo. In addition to fouling beaches and killing sea life, the algae creates a foul smell and can be harmful to people who breathe it in at the beach. Right now the algae is collecting in an area 60 miles wide and 100 miles long, and looming just offshore and there's nothing anyone can do about it. (AP Photo/Tampa Tribune-News Channel 8, Paul Lamison, FILE)

It's like Florida's version of The Blob. Slow moving glops of toxic algae in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are killing sea turtles, sharks and fish, and threatening the waters and beaches that fuel the region's economy.

Fishermen who make a living off the state's northwest coast say they are seeing and reddish water—hallmarks of a toxic "red tide" known as Karenia brevis.

The algae is collecting in an area about 60 miles wide and 100 miles long off St. Petersburg in the south and stretching north to Florida's Big Bend.

Red tide can also harm people with respiratory ailments who inhale its toxins.

Scientists are trying to better predict when large red tides will occur, but right now there's no way to fight it.


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Citation: Red tide off northwest Florida could hit economy (2014, September 17) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-red-tide-northwest-florida-economy.html
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