Scientists say red tide has returned to Florida's southwest coast

FWC received reports of dead fish and respiratory irritation cases


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Scientists say toxic red tide is back in the waters off Florida's southwest coast after fading away earlier this year following a 15-month bloom.

Biologists at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute said Friday that samples taken from the waters off the shore of Collier County found high concentrations of the toxic algae.

They also received reports of dead fish and cases of respiratory irritation.

Red tide is a natural occurrence that happens due to the presence of nutrients in salt water and an organism called a dinoflagellate.

The 15-month bloom caused respiratory irritation in people and killed sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and fish.