Red tide is present at all 16 Sarasota County beaches, the county announced in a text message alert today.
The county announced it is posting red tide notification signs at beaches in the area. The county reported conditions at the beaches include minor fish kills and respiratory irritation.
In a release, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County advised that people may experience mild respiratory symptoms at beaches where red tide is present. The health department advised individuals with chronic respiratory problems to consider staying away from the beach, as those people may experience more severe issues. Symptoms usually go away when a person leaves the beach or goes indoors, according to the release.
The health department made the following recommendations:
- Do not swim around dead fish.
- Do not eat molluscan shellfish and dead or distressed fish from affected waters.
- Do not allow pets and livestock near water, sea foam and dead sea life.
- If you live in a beach area and experience respiratory symptoms, close your windows and run the air conditioner.
Prior to today’s announcement, Longboat Key officials said they had received several reports of red tide conditions on the barrier island’s shores. Today’s announcement came two weeks after the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County reported elevated levels of red tide at nine south county beaches.
More information on red tide and the status of local beaches is available on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website and the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium website.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.