Red tide returns to some Florida beaches

Posted at 9:48 PM, Feb 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-06 21:48:41-05

NOKOMIS, Fla. (AP) -- Officials say a highly concentrated patch of red tide likely caused the death of hundreds of fish that washed ashore on beaches near the border of Sarasota and Charlotte counties.

The Herald-Tribune reports that according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, dense algae patches are expected to soon appear in the waters of Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.

Resident Michael Sweeney says Blind Pass Beach, which has been affected by red tide, is "covered" with dead fish.

While they're not deadly to humans, toxins produced by red tide can cause coughing, runny nose and itchy eyes.

Vincent Lovko, staff scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory, says a red tide bloom has been located off the coast of Southwest Florida since September. He says the bloom isn't "unusually alarming."