Red tide kills hundreds of fish, turtles in southwest Florida

Red tide kills hundreds of fish, turtles in southwest Florida

Thousands of fish and several manatees have washed up dead because of red tide. Instead, they're strewn with the corpses of dead marine creatures, victims of a red tide.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is now examining samples of the algae from different locations along the west coast.

WINK-TV News meteorologist Matt Devitt posted images on his Facebook page of fish, stingrays, manatees, turtles and a whale shark that had died.

Dead sea life continues to wash ashore on beaches in the area, according to the News-Press, which is documenting the deaths in stories and a photo gallery on its website.

"Pictures are recent and within July, most from Lee County", he wrote.

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

"With this year's red tide being more substantial than previous years, we must do everything we can to help minimize its harm to our water and wildlife".

The state wildlife agency says red tide, a type of algae, has been a naturally occuring phenomenon along Florida's Gulf Coast since at least the 1840s and that blooms occur almost every year in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Miami Herald reported the blue-green algae outbreak had grabbed national attention.

"As the person dealing with all these hundreds of dying animals, I'm upset."
Things are so serious that Florida Governor Rick Scott issued an executive order last month to combat the algae, urging local agencies to take emergency actions - including redirecting the flow of water to curb the growth of the blooms.

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