During the past two weeks, more than three tons of dead fish have washed up on the beaches in southwest Florida, scorching the eyes of locals.
While a red tide that began in October and flared up again this week persisted, with no immediate indications of subsiding, they also describe breathing difficulties.
Even a homeowners’ organization was forced to postpone their annual “BeachFest” for next month due to the harmful red tide algae bloom after the city, and Pinellas County Health Department indicated the red tide would still be an issue.
The Indian Rocks Beach Homeowners Association wrote in a statement to the public, “Red Tide is currently present on the beach and is anticipated to linger in the area in the weeks to come.
Although regrettably, it had to be canceled, it was the right move for the public’s health.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 157 samples collected along the state’s Gulf coast had the red tide-causing Karenia brevis bacteria.
As the operations manager for Manatee County Parks, Carmine DeMilio oversaw the cleanup work for the red tide and told the Bradenton Herald that things “started getting intense” around two weeks ago.
Since then, his team has gathered roughly 3.5 tons of dead fish using beach rake tractors to comb the sand and skimmer boats to collect the dead fish from the sea.
DeMilio told the Bradenton Herald that they begin at five in the morning and finish at about eleven thirty. It’s challenging to maneuver by that point because beachgoers are already on the shore.