'Red tide' blamed for whale shark, turtle, dolphin carcasses on Florida beaches

Beaches at Boca Grande have been affected

Beaches at Boca Grande have been affected Credit iStock

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is now examining samples of the algae from different locations along the west coast. At least 90 sea turtles have been found stranded as the tide stretches well into nesting season.

Red tide is the name given to the blooms of a species of microorganisms that have a distinct red colour.

Political broadsides continue over who is to blame for ongoing water-quality problems across South Florida, as Gov. Rick Scott on Friday ordered more action to address red tide in coastal communities. Tissue taken from the whale shark's organs and muscles tested positive for brevetoxin, a neurotoxin created by the algae.

Sea turtles, manatees, fish and other animals are seeing a spike in their mortality rate during 2018, especially in Southwest Florida.

Crews on Florida's Sanibel Island shoveled up and bagged dead fish Thursday as southwest Florida deals with one of the longest red tide outbreaks in years. The algae bloom - which gets its name because the microscopic algae often turn water red - has already lasted since November of past year, and could stretch into 2019, some scientists are saying.

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According to U.S. network CNN, this year's effect of the red tide on marine life has been unprecedented.

But the bloom is not only risky to marine animals. The toxin affects marine life and causes respiratory irritation in humans and animals. Red tide is a type of marine algae that undergoes an explosive growth and begins producing toxins.

Toxic freshwater algae blooms started inland at Lake Okeechobee.

More than a dozen people have gone to the emergency room after exposure to the blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.

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