The town of Longboat Key, Florida, saw hundreds of dead fish wash up on shore earlier last week. The cause? Red tide.
Red tide is an algal bloom that produces toxins that are harmful to fish, marine mammals and people. It also can cause fish and shellfish to become dangerous to eat.
Residents nearby are now left having to deal with the smell of rotting fish.
“Yesterday was the first time that I walked out of the building and noticed a smell. I thought, oh wow, it’s not supposed to be low tide until 9 O’clock tonight,” Said Cyndi Tessler, a tourist in Longboat Key. “I came down to the beach and my husband said, ‘take a look,’ and there were dead fish everywhere.”
The FWC received calls of dead fish in northern Longboat Key, Lido Key and Siesta Key.
Kelly Richmond, and FWC spokesperson, said there have been reports of menhaden, eel, mullet, remora and one red drum found dead so far.
Red tide has even recently been reported in Anna Maria Island.