SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) — Mote Marine Lab scientists alert area residents and visitors that red tide algae has been detected off the coast of Sarasota and Manatee counties.
The latest update detected medium to high concentrations of red tide along Manatee and Sarasota counties which could be a concern with people who have respiratory illnesses.
Last week, the algae was detected in high concentrations in 12 samples collected alongshore of Bay and Gulf counties, and in medium concentrations in 27 samples collected alongshore of Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. Low concentrations were detected in six samples collected offshore of Charlotte and Lee counties.
Mote says slight respiratory irritation and some dead fish were reported onshore at Venice North Jetty, and slight respiratory irritation was also reported at Siesta Key and Nokomis by Mote’s Beach Conditions Reporting System.
People may experience respiratory irritation such as coughing, sneezing or a scratchy throat while at the shore or on the water when red tide is present. People with asthma, COPD or other chronic respiratory conditions should avoid areas with red tide algae, since the toxins can trigger their symptoms. Red tide concentrations elevated to low levels can be sufficient to cause respiratory irritation and may also kill fish.