ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — With only a few days left of spring break, most people across the Tampa Bay area are planning to hit the beach — but before doing so, you should probably check out the latest red tide update from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Red tide, which is also called Karenia brevis, was found in 172 samples along Florida's Gulf Coast over the past week, the FWC says. There were also 62 samples that detected red tide bloom concentrations.
In the Tampa Bay area, three red tide bloom concentrations were recorded offshore of Hillsborough County, two in Manatee County, three in and offshore of Pasco County, 24 in and offshore of Pinellas County and 17 in and offshore of Sarasota County.
Samples also showed different concentration levels of red tide in the local area with low to medium concentrations offshore of Hillsborough County, very low to medium concentrations in Manatee County, background to high concentrations in and offshore of Pinellas County and background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Sarasota County.
The FWC says reports of fish kills believed to be related were received in Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. There were also respiratory irritation cases over the past week due to red tide reported in the same counties.