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Date of Issue: October 05, 2006

Red tide lingers in Southwest Florida waters

A red tide bloom persists off Southwest Florida.

The Florida Marine Research Institute in St. Petersburg reported Friday that "medium to high concentrations were detected between northern Pinellas County and Charlotte County. Water samples collected offshore of Pinellas County detected Karenia brevis, or red tide, at medium to high concentrations 4 to 8 miles west of Dunedin and 15 miles west of Fort Desoto as well as alongshore at Clearwater Beach, Redington Beach, Fort Desoto and the north and south Skyway Bridge fishing piers.

"Medium to high concentrations were also detected alongshore of Manatee and Sarasota counties as well as at Englewood Beach in northern Charlotte County. Reports of fish kills have been received from northern Pinellas to southern Lee counties, including Anclote Key, Boca Ciega Bay, Holmes Beach, Sarasota and Sanibel Island. Fish kills and respiratory irritation are possible between northern Pinellas County and Collier County."

Red tide is a naturally occurring algae that at times blooms for reasons as-yet unknown. The blooms can cause fish kills and respiratory problems for humans and marine mammals.