Dead fish continue to wash ashore on SWFL beaches

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Dead fish are showing up in large numbers on Southwest Florida beaches, ruining vacations for tourists and keeping residents away.

And as some arrived on Barefoot Beach Sunday, they were greeted with a sign warning of red tide.

“He pretty much gave us the down low on it and was like, you may have a little bit of nasal issues or if you have asthma, you might have a problem,” said visitor Zane Greene.

Greene and his friend said when they got to the beach, they noticed one thing.

“There’s a lot of dead fish, a lot of dead fish,” he said.

It’s a nasty problem likely caused by red tide outbreaks in the area.

However, the latest Red Tide Outlook from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, lists much of SWFL as “very low” to “moderate.”

Residents who frequent local beaches say there are countless dead fish scattered up and down the shorelines. From Barefoot Beach to the Naples Pier, beachgoers say the fish continue to wash ashore.

But it didn’t stop Warren White and his friends from enjoying the sunset on Barefoot Beach.

“We’ve lived down here for five years, so at different times we see this happen, but yeah we’ve seen it before, but it’s not terrible,” White said.

Red tide is caused by an overgrowth of microscopic algae and can kill fish and wildlife in the water.

And it’s possibly spreading across Collier county.

While it’s mostly harmless to humans, FWC says it can cause respiratory irritation, so officials warn individuals with breathing problems to avoid the beach for now.

“As soon as we got here, we could feel it in our throats that it was kinda tickly and unpleasant,” said beachgoer Kim Collins. “We were planning to come back tomorrow for the day but I’m not sure I wanna.”

Collier County Pollution Control will sample the water again Monday to check the red tide levels.


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