Florida Fish & Wildlife Red Tide Status: Friday, February 23, 2018
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission red tide bulletin at 3:15 PM 2/23/2018.
Red Tide Status Report (February 23, 2018)
“A patchy bloom of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida.
In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low to medium concentrations in five samples collected from or offshore of Lee County, and medium concentrations in one sample collected offshore of Monroe County.
In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in one sample collected from Franklin County.
Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.
Fish kills were reported in Lee County at Bunche Beach and in Pine Island Sound (2/22) and in Monroe County, offshore of Marathon Key and Grassy Key in Florida Bay (2/16, and 2/19-2/21). Respiratory irritation was also reported in Monroe County, offshore of Marathon Key (2/19). Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tidesfor Pinellas to Monroe counties predict northern, alongshore transport of surface waters and southern, onshore transport of subsurface waters over the next three days.”
For more information, please see FWC.
Key for Results
|Description||Karenia breviscells/liter||Possible Effects (K. brevis only)|
|NOT PRESENT – BACKGROUND||background levels of 1,000 cells or less||None anticipated|
|VERY LOW||>1,000 to 10,000||Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures > 5,000 cells/L|
|LOW||>10,000 to 100,000||Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills, and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits|
|MEDIUM||>100,000 to 1,000,000||Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills|
|HIGH||>1,000,000||As above plus discoloration|
“The FWRI Red Tide Status Line is now available to callers throughout the state. FWRI updates the recording each Friday by 5 p.m. Red Tide Status Line: 866-300-9399 (toll-free inside Florida only); 727-552-2448 (outside Florida).
Reports are updated on Friday afternoon except during holidays, in which case the report will be released on the closest day. Additional information, if available, is provided on Wednesday afternoon. To receive an e-mail when the current status has been updated, visit our subscription area.
FWC’s Red Tide Action Report
Red tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. Blooms, or higher-than-normal concentrations, of the Florida red tide alga, Karenia brevis, frequently occur in the Gulf of Mexico. Red tide begins in the Gulf of Mexico 10 to 40 miles offshore and can be transported inshore by winds and currents.
FWC Actions and Partnerships:
- FWC operates the toll-free fish kill hotline. To report fish kills, contact the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online. Reports from this hotline help FWC researchers track and better understand the impact of red tide in Florida.
- FWC remains available to local agencies and partners in affected areas, including area business and tourism groups in southwest Florida. Any local agency or group that has any questions or concerns can contact Kelly Richmond from the FWC at 727-502-4784.
- FWC continues to partner with the Florida Department of Health to advise residents and visitors of any potential health impacts. Residents and visitors can contact the DOH’s aquatic toxin experts at 850-245-4250 or contact their local health department for any concern about health safety.
- FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory work together to monitor Karenia brevis. This cooperative effort is designed to help mitigate the adverse impacts of red tide. This joint research program that includes red tide monitoring, research and public outreach and education has resulted in better tools and ongoing monitoring for red tides along the Gulf Coast.
- In partnership with the FWC, the Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides (CPR) at the University of South Florida offer a new Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) tracking tool that generates a 3.5-day forecast of the bloom trajectories.
- To protect public health, FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) group closely monitors the status of K. brevis on Florida’s coasts, providing technical support to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), the agency that regulates approved shellfish harvesting areas.
- Since 2000, FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute established a Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program, which is a volunteer program for citizens to help collect water samples from routine collection points and sites reported for suspected harmful algal blooms (HABs).The timely sampling by volunteers allows researchers to provide an early warning of offshore algal blooms and investigate reported events as they occur. The Program needs volunteers to collect samples from all coastal Florida counties. To view more information visit, Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program or use the Volunteer SignUp Form.
Red Tide Resources
- Red tide facts and information pocket guide and Fact sheet
- Florida Department of Health
- Mote Marine Laboratory Beach Condition Reporting System
- USF Collaboration for the Prediction of Red Tides (CPR)
- NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System (HAB-OFS)
- Florida red tide www.facebook.com/FLHABs”