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Mote researchers say red tide is to blame for high number of bottlenose dolphin deaths

Dead dolphins along Florida's gulf coast are testing positive for red tide toxins.

SARASOTA, Fla.—The ongoing red tide bloom along Florida’s gulf coast has had a fatal impact on marine life, scientists say.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said since July 2018 there has been a high number of bottlenose dolphins dying, and it’s likely because of the red tide.

Sarasota's Mote Marine Laboratory and its partners have counted 17 dead bottlenose dolphins they’ve recovered since July 1.

Mote said it did necropsies and biological sampling of the dolphins it recovered. Ten of the recovered dolphins had been tested for Florida red tide neurotoxins and all of them came back positive.

The samples from the other dolphins were sent in for testing, but Mote said it was waiting on the results to come back.

Dolphins have been hit particularly hard by red tide in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, where the blooms have been strongest.

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