A bloom of Karenia Brevis, otherwise known as red tide, could be persisting in the area.
As of June 8, red tide was observed at background to low concentrations in five collected samples from Manatee County and in background to medium concentrations in 28 samples from Sarasota County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website said.
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County collects samples on Mondays and then Mote Marine Laboratory conducts cell counts on those samples, Mote Content Development Manager Hayley Rutger said. According to the Florida Health website, there were no observed effects on local beaches and parks including Longboat Key, Bird Key Park and Lido Beach as of June 4.
However, a new update should be available on Wednesday, and based on the samples Mote takes each weekday at their own docks, they can see that there are still elevated levels of red tide in the area, Rutger said in an email.
As of June 8, Mote’s bayside dock showed 16,000 K. Brevis cells per liter, indicative of low levels. The laboratory’s New Pass dock showed 213,000 cell per liter, which means the count is at “medium,” Rutger said in the email.
Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's red-tide monitor map
Low counts can mean that beachgoers and others in the area can experience respiratory irritation and there could be fish kills. Medium counts raise the possibility of respiratory irritation and fish kills.
To get updates on the local red tide status, visit the following websites.