Red tide recovery continues with redfish release

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Coastal Conservation Association Florida is partnering with Duke Energy Mariculture Center to bring 2,000 juvenile and adult redfish to Robinson Preserve in west Bradenton. The fish, reared in hatcheries and donated by Duke, represent an effort to offset the damage caused by red tide in 2018. Red fish were to be released Feb. 26 in Robinson Preserve, after The Islander went to press for Feb. 27. Islander Photo: Courtesy CCAFL

Local marine life is getting a little help from humans.

More than 2,000 juvenile redfish are set to be released at Robinson Preserve in west Manatee County.

The Feb. 26 release was to address the loss to the redfish population on the Southwest Florida coast due to red tide, according to a news release from the county. The program was announced in fall 2018.

Another 6,000 redfish will be released in March.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Com- mission, the Coastal Conservation Association Florida and Duke Energy are releasing the all-hatchery-reared fish.

The program also released more than 8,000 redfish in Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota coun-
ties.

According to the FWC, recent water samples taken from the coastal areas in Southwest Florida have shown only natural, background levels of Karenia brevis, the organism that causes red tide.

As of Feb. 15, FWC said reported n red tide in the waters surrounding the entire state.

4 thoughts on “Red tide recovery continues with redfish release

  1. Randy E. Edwards,, Ph.D.

    Positive input would include your publication making people aware that they must do REAL positive things – things like support – no insist upon – removal of all septic tanks in the coastal watershed area, retrofitting or creating storm water treatment systems to remove nutrient pollution from runoff from older areas (like Longboat Key is), demanding that governments require stormwater and runoff treatment at all new developments exceed and not just meet existing minimum requirements, supporting or insisting on protection of habitats like mangroves and marshes (like those that are being destroyed by Carlos Beruff’s Aqua development along miles of shoreline across Sarasota Bay from LBK, and insisting on Mote using the many millions of taxpayer and donor dollars that they have recently solicited to study and resolve the nutrient pollution problems that cause red tide to be so frequent, extensive in area, intensive, and destructive to fish, wildlife and environments – instead of tilting at the windmills of eliminating red tide that almost all credible scientists and resource managers agree that is almost surely not going to be achieved. Do not let snake-oil products – like stocking a few hatchery fish – let your urgency for insistence on environmental actions and improvements be distracted or diminished.

    Reply
    1. Bonner Joy

      As a reminder, we only report the news. We do not compel the news. We are a weekly community newspaper reporting on events and the lives of people on Anna Maria Island. Perhaps you should compel local government to do better — and we can report your actions. — Bonner Joy

      Reply
  2. Randy E. Edwards,, Ph.D.

    Fishermen and environmentally concerned citizens must not be deceived into thinking that this kind of drop-in-the-bucket stocking of hatchery raised redfish will in any way offset the recent devastating impacts of red tide on redfish. The real problem is the nutrient pollution of our coastal waters that has allowed red tide to be so intense, wide-spread, long-lived, and destructive. The fact of the matter is that scientists who have studied redfish of the small size that are going to be stocked have found that the mortality rate for this size/age is around 1-2% per day. That means that out of these 2,000 little redfish, only around 50 fish will be alive at the end of a year at the 1%/day rate, and only 1 or 2 will be alive if mortality is as high as 2%. This kind of self-serving, deceptive action is nothing more than false promise designed to make a power company look good. The so-called conservation organization involved in this deception should know better, but it apparently is ignorant. What is even more damaging, beyond the false promise, is that people who are unaware that this is nothing more than a deception are likely to be tricked into believing that this kind of fish stocking can reverse the effects of red tide, and then will become complacent about stopping and reversing the environmental pollution and degradation that have caused and will continue to cause destruction of fish, wildlife, habitat, and environments. This kind of fish stocking is like the old-time medicine show salesmen that sold sick people fake medicine that then made them think they would be cured, but instead resulted in their death when they did not properly take care of their disease.

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