After commercial fishermen reported a fish kill a mile off Sand Key Park and Clearwater Beach on Friday, Pinellas County acted quickly.
Kelli Levy, Pinellas’ director of environmental management, confirms the county has hired a debris contractor to harvest the dead fish out in the Gulf of Mexico, about one mile from Clearwater Beach.
Hundreds of thousands of dead fish were found along beaches Saturday evening like Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Treasure Island, Madeira and Reddington, according to Levy.
“There will be crews out at sunrise (Sunday) to harvest the fish,” says Levy.
Close to 60-80 people working with the county will be doing hand cleanups along the beach.
The county received a $1.3 million grant for red tide cleanup, so the contractor will be paid with that money.
Jason Beisel with the city of Clearwater says they're also doing their part to clean up the dead fish.
“We have crews with Clearwater Parks and Rec, crews along with our solid rec crews, they go along the beaches 3-4 times a day,” says Beisel.
Pinellas County is expecting those contractors to go out again in the morning to harvest more dead fish.
They say they will keep those contractors until this toxic bloom is no longer a threat.
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