A county vessel collected dead fish on Lido Beach during the 2017 red tide outbreak.

A county vessel collected dead fish on Lido Beach during the 2017 red tide outbreak.

Image: Karen Arango

As if 2020 hasn't been difficult enough, low levels of red tide have been reported in South Sarasota County.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission says that karenia brevis, the organism that causes red tide, was found in water samples from Nokomis Beach and the North Jetty. (Small amounts were also observed in Pinellas County.) In both locations, amounts were low enough to avoid fish kills and foul-smelling air; however, experts say it's late in the season for a bloom, which usually occurs in late summer and early fall.

Our area's last major red tide outbreak happened in 2017 and wreaked havoc on the local economy and marine life, killing thousands of fish, as well as manatees, dolphins and sea turtles.

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