ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Heads up, beachgoers!
A report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released on Wednesday afternoon shows Karenia brevis, more commonly known as red tide, was detected in waters in Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
Over the past week, red tide was observed at low and medium concentrations in and offshore of Pasco County, very low to medium concentrations in Manatee County and background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Pinellas and Sarasota counties, the report shows.
The FWC says reports of fish kills and respiratory irritation believed to be related to red tide over the past week were received in Manatee and Sarasota counties.
Forecasts from wildlife officials and experts from the University of South Florida say the movement of red tide for Pinellas County to northern Monroe County "predict net northern/northwestern movement of surface waters and minimal net transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3.5 days."
The next red tide report from the FWC will be released on Friday, April 7. To learn more about red tide and to see a map of impacted areas, click here.
The red tide organism produces toxic chemicals that can impact both marine organisms and humans, causing respiratory irritation. If you'd like to report a fish kill online, click here.
Health and wildlife officials warn against swimming in or around red tide due to the toxin's ability to cause skin irritation, rashes burning and sore eyes. Pet owners should take the same precaution with their animals as well.