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Fish kills spotted along beach at John D. MacArthur State Park

Posted at 8:09 PM, Oct 03, 2018

Red tide is not only shutting down beaches throughout South Florida but could also be responsible for killing sea life. Wednesday morning thousands of dead fish were spotted along the shoreline at John D. MacArthur State Park prompting the beach to be shut down along with the boardwalk leading up to it. 

“What smelled like garbage bags filled with fish coming over the boardwalk about 15 minutes ago. I assume that’s why they shut this off,” said visitor Justin Friedman. 

RELATED: What is red tide? | Is our seafood safe to eat? | Loggerhead Marinelife Center works to protect wildlife | What's the impact on animals? | Red tide affects water sports | Tourism officials questioned about response | Water woes cause woman to leave Fla. 

Florida Fish and Wildlife won’t confirm if they are scooping up dead fish into plastic bags. However, you can see in exclusive Chopper 5 video taken early Wednesday afternoon thousands of dead fish along the very same beach. 

“I would hope this would be a very short-termed event,” said FAU Harbor Branch Dr. James Sullivan. 

Dr. Sullivan said he believes the fish kills that are happening right now in North Palm Beach are due to red tide. He went on to say this is very common along the west coast of Florida where red tide kills marine life to some degree every year. 

“It’s an algae that produces a pretty potent toxin so it’s a neurotoxin,” said Dr. Sullivan. 

However, it’s not very common for this to happen on the east coast of Florida. And unfortunately it’s unclear how long this algae bloom is expected to last but one thing is for certain, 

“If it does maintain in our water we are most likely to see a continuation of fish kills,” said Dr. Sullivan.