Dead fish, red tide, plague Florida tourists, beaches

Beaches at Boca Grande have been affected

As part of the directive, the conservation commission will assist local efforts to save animals affected by red tide.

Red tide, which refers to higher than normal algae blooms of the organism Karenia brevis, happens nearly annually and has been a natural occurrence for centuries. The state's governor has declared a state of emergency. The county has also provided dumpster sites for residents as far south as Bonita Springs to dispose of dead fish.

The newspaper, calling the algae outbreak a "crisis", says the suspected cause of death is red tide poisoning. Tissue taken from the whale shark's organs and muscles tested positive for brevetoxin, a neurotoxin created by the algae.

The blooms are killing fish and marine life.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials have been trying to save as many sea turtles as they can.

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The Florida red tide organism, known as Karenia Brevis, produces brevetoxins that can affect the central nervous system of fish and other vertebrates, causing these animals to die. However, there has yet to be a firm link established between nutrient pollution and the severity of red tide, according to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. The algae bloom - which gets its name because the microscopic algae often turn water red - has already lasted since November of a year ago, and could stretch into 2019, some scientists are saying.

But the bloom is not only risky to marine animals.

"During my time in office, we have invested millions of dollars to research and mitigate red tide along Florida's Gulf Coast", Scott said in a statement.

Toxic freshwater algae blooms started inland at Lake Okeechobee.

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