Red tide levels have been detected at all 16 Sarasota County beaches monitored by the Florida Department of Health’s local office, from Longboat Key to Blind Pass.
Read more: Red tide status in Manatee, Sarasota counties
The result of water sampling this week prompted the placement of advisory signs indicating elevated levels of red tide at: Longboat Key, Bird Key Park/Ringling Causeway, North Lido, Lido Casino, South Lido, Siesta Key, Turtle Beach, Nokomis Beach, North Jetty, Venice Beach, Service Club, Venice Fishing Pier, Brohard Beach, Caspersen Beach, Manasota Key and Blind Pass.
Although most of the samples indicated concentrations of Karenia brevis — the cell responsible for red tide outbreaks — in low to medium levels, Venice Beach was categorized as high.
The Department of Health routinely makes these recommendations for visitors to beaches where red tide is present:
- Do not swim around dead fish.
- If you have chronic respiratory problems, consider staying away from the beach as red tide can affect your breathing.
- Do not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish and distressed or dead fish. If fish are healthy, rinse fillets with tap or bottled water and throw out the guts.
- Keep pets and livestock away from water, sea foam, and dead sea life.
- Residents living in beach areas who experience respiratory symptoms are advised to close windows and run the air conditioner (ensuring that the A/C filter is maintained according to the manufacturer's specifications.
- If outdoors, residents may choose to wear paper filter masks, especially if onshore winds are blowing.