Florida’s red tide gone after more than a year

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Florida’s red tide resulted fish kills and lost revenue for marine businesses. Photo courtesy MOTE

Florida’s red tide resulted fish kills and lost revenue for marine businesses. Photo courtesy MOTE

The organism that has caused red tides in Florida since 2017 appears to have subsided, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The agency said last week that it collected water samples in southwest and northwest Florida, and along the state’s East Coast and found no traces of Karenia brevis, which is responsible for toxic red tides.

“It does appear to be sustaining in background concentrations, meaning that it is pretty much over,” FWCC spokeswoman Michelle Kerr told the Naples Daily News. “There haven’t been fish kills reported associated with red tide in a few weeks. There were some low concentrations just along the shore of southern Collier County last week, but as of Friday it hasn’t been present throughout the entire state.”

The red tide and algae blooms wrecked havoc on marine businesses in Florida last year. Sanibel Island said it lost $46 million in revenue during the summer of 2018. Cancellation rates on the island were at nearly 80 percent, according to Wink News.

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