Florida's cyclical red tide is a toxic algae bloom that suffocates and kills sea life. Not only killing fish, PBS reported that since the bloom started last fall, "(it) has killed dolphins, sea turtles, manatees, even a whale shark." This year, experts have stated the bloom is worse and more persistent than previous years, potentially spreading over 130 miles, and that it could be a result of climate change or other human interference. The overall result: thousands of dead fish and other previously living creature odors clearing beaches from tourists and getting replaced with cleanup crews. Even though fish seem to represent the majority of those who are susceptible to the red tide algae bloom effects, it was reported that they have discovered sea turtles are being killed at four times the rate of previous years. Ecologist Dr. Rick Bartleson said that usually, "you would see 100,000 to 200,000 red tide cells per liter of water. But this year, the red tide has been 10 times worse."
Several informed reporter William Brangham, on Sanibel Island off Florida's coast. Local businesses are being affected as an owner, Trasi Sharp runs the Over Easy Cafe just a few blocks from the beach, and said, "Somehow, we will get through this. We’re hoping it doesn’t last at this pace for too long, but it’s scary." Tour boats are low on business as, Captain Ben Biery explained, "my business for the month of August was down somewhere around 80 percent." With struggling economies, some harder-hit areas have relied on weekly assistance from food banks. Biery also added about not being able to, "drive 100 yards without passing 1,000 or 10,000 dead fish."
In early August 2018 photo, crews cleaned up dead fish on Coquina and on other Florida beaches. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)