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Traces of red tide return to Manatee, Sarasota county beaches

Background to high concentrations of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, remain in Pinellas County beaches.
Credit: Shannon Clowe
Dead fish are along the shoreline on Indian Shores Beach.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Sarasota and Manatee County waterways saw some relief when red tide in the area subsided just a week ago, however that has since changed after new samples were observed this week.

According to a mid-week report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), a patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was found in small traces of samples collected in Manatee and Sarasota County.

The bloom was found in 25 samples at background to high concentrations in Pinellas county where red tide remains persistent but lower than in previous months. Very low to low concentrations were found in three samples in Manatee County. And background to low concentrations were found in 11 samples in Manatee County. 

Conditions have improved compared to a few months ago when 3.6 million pounds of dead sea life have been removed from the Pinellas County area.

You can check out the FWC's latest fishkill reports 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. 

The blooms can last as little as a few weeks or longer than a year and can even subside and then reoccur, according to FWC.

Based on this report where both Sarasota and Manatee counties were in the clear a week ago, and now have some presence of red tide, it's important to check conditions before heading to the beach.