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Patchy blooms of red tide persist on Florida Gulf coast

Just seven bloom concentrations were observed in Pinellas County.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Red tide conditions across the Tampa Bay area continue to improve, but Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says patchy blooms continue to linger along parts of the Gulf coast.

Daily samples show red tide is still impacting the Tampa Bay area. During this week's sampling for the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, cells were detected in 36 samples. Just seven bloom concentrations were observed in Pinellas County.

Concentrations of red tide in Pinellas County are low to high. Sarasota County is reporting background to very low concentrations.

RELATED: Here's how to check current beach conditions before you go

To report a fish kill to the FWC, call its hotline at 800-636-0511. For more resources, click here.

Red tide is one of the water's deadliest enemies, and it occurs nearly every summer along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Some years, however, it's worse than others.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, "red tide" is a harmful algal bloom or HAB, that is created when plants in the sea grow out of control and cause harmful toxins. Those toxins can have negative impacts on people, marine mammals, birds, fish and shellfish. 

In Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, the species responsible for most red tides is called Karenia brevis and is often abbreviated as K. brevis.

NOAA scientists say that although it's rare, red tide can cause human illness and even be deadly. Experts the FWC say the toxic chemicals that come from red tide affect both marine organisms and humans.