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Longboat Key Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 5 years ago

Mote scientists attend red tide symposium

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Mote Marine Laboratory scientists attended the “Fifth Symposium on Harmful Algae in the U.S.” Nov. 15-19, in Ocean Shores, Wash., to present their findings from nearly 10 years of monitoring algae growth on the west Florida continental shelf.

Scientists analyzed data taken from four red-tide blooms that occurred in the study area over the past decade.

Among the findings they presented from their study:

• Asthmatics reported respiratory problems lasting up to five days after being exposed to relatively high levels of airborne red-tide toxins.

• Lifeguards were more likely to take sick or vacation days during a red-tide boom, with more than half of the lifeguards surveyed taking vacation days to avoid red tide.

• Tourists tend to gather much of their information about red tide from the Internet. Researchers found TV messages tended to be confusing and that they needed to work with local television stations.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].

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