3,000 pounds of dead fish – 09/19/2006

  • November 25, 2013 at 3:13 am #1292

    from bridget

    City workers used a tractor to clean up 3,000 pounds of dead fish
    that littered the shore in Southwest Florida caused by an increase
    in red tide bloom. The level has been increased in some areas from
    low to medium, according to a Collier County report released
    Tuesday, the day of the cleanup. The toxic microscopic algae bloom
    has infected the area for the past two months. “We’ll continue to
    monitor the beaches day after day,” said Joe Boscaglia, the city’s
    parks superintendent. “We hope it doesn’t get any worse.” Red tide
    is the common name for a bloom of microscopic algae, called karenia
    brevis, that releases a toxin that can kill fish and cause coughing,
    sneezing and watery eyes in humans. People with chronic respiratory
    illnesses, such as asthma, were advised to stay away from the beach.
    Last year nearly 480 tons of dead fish were hauled away during four
    weeks in September and October.

    Number two report

    A patchy red tide continued to move around Lee County waters Friday,
    killing fish and fouling air in some areas while leaving others
    toxin free. Red tide conditions change from hour to hour — as Capt.
    Harvey Hamilton found out — which makes predicting the phenomenon
    extremely difficult. At 8 a.m. Friday on a slack tide, Hamilton was
    returning from a run to North Captiva for Bokeelia Barge and
    Transport when he called The News-Press on his cell phone. When
    Hamilton returned to the same spot two hours later, the fish and
    stench were gone — probably dragged away by a strong falling tide.
    Heading back to Bokeelia, Hamilton came across a half-mile line of
    dead fish running north and south in Charlotte Harbor moving west on
    the tide. The fish, from a dozen species — including seatrout,
    burrfish, hogchokers, spadefish, eels, sheepshead, filefish and
    triggerfish — had not been there 90 minutes before. Red tide is a
    natural phenomenon caused by a population explosion, or bloom, of
    the single-cell alga Karenia brevis, or K. brevis, which produces a
    powerful toxin. At normal concentrations, less than 1,000 cells per
    liter of water, K. brevis is not a problem; during a bloom, the
    extra toxin can render filter-feeding shellfish poisonous, kill
    fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and marine birds and cause
    respiratory distress in humans. Red tide started showing up in
    Southwest Florida early this week after being absent from area
    waters for six weeks.

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