Red Tide: Is It Safe to Eat Seafood?

Blue green algae toxic bloom

As of this week the bloom had been blamed for killing 452 sea turtles, all of them either endangered or threatened species, and about 92 manatees, also a threatened species.

Cleanup rules are being waived for the removal of dead fish from areas of red tide in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. "If people want to go to the beaches, go to the east coast", he says.

So, it's safe to eat fish during red tide, but there are some things you should know.

A toxic algae bloom has overrun Florida's southern Gulf Coast this summer, devastating sea life and driving people from the water.

- Red tide issues continue along the Southwest Florida coast.

Bridge Tender Inn and Dockside Bar manager Shannon Dunnan said no one sat at their waterfront bar on Sunday because of all the dead fish that washed ashore along the bay side. They are the latest victims of what experts fear may be red tide.

Our vision for the future: To further benefit Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems, Mote and its partners envision the future creation of an independent Florida-based Marine and Freshwater HAB Center that will utilize innovative approaches and technologies to address Florida red tide and other HABs through rapid assessment and modeling for HAB forecasting; HAB prevention, control and mitigation of impacts; public health protection; and expansion of local community outreach and engagement. "It's just a real nasty smell".

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On some beaches, it's impossible to walk without tiptoeing around the carcasses of marine life.

"It really stinks", said one charter boat captain.

Brand says it is also hard to predict how long the outbreak will last but that it will most likely go through the rainy season, which can extend into November. You can't do that.

Blooms, or higher-than-normal concentrations of the red tide alga, known as Karenia brevis, happen almost every year in the Gulf of Mexico.

Most algal blooms aren't harmful. As such, look for whatever is out there to more or less linger in place, and perhaps drift a bit to the south, through the weekend and into next week.While we can get an idea of where the algae bloom may be moving going forward, the formation and eventual breakdown of a red tide event is almost impossible to forecast.

Does Red Tide affect humans too? She also said concentrations of the algae were extremely high. The bloom has persisted for about nine months, carried largely by ocean currents.

"Are they in fact related? The water's usually much clearer than it has been today", said Brandon Mullis of Tampa, building a sand castle with his daughter on Bradenton Beach.

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