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Florida beach littered with ‘hundreds’ of dead fish, marine life

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The bodies of many different species of marine life such as fish, turtles, moray eels, goliath groupers and even manatees have washed up on Boca Grande beach in Florida over the last week.

Officials of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told ABC10 that “red tide” is likely to be the cause of the death.

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A red tide, formally known as a harmful algal bloom (HAB), occurs as “colonies of algae — simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater — grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on humans, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, birds,” according to the National Ocean Service.

“This bloom, like many HABs, is caused by microscopic algae that produce toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat. The toxins can also make the surrounding air difficult to breathe. As the name suggests, the bloom of algae often is the water red,” said the service.

A red tide is not uncommon, especially along Florida’s gulf coast. But the consequences can be lethal for marine life.

“Hundreds of goliath groupers death, dolphins, manatees, turtles. It is important death to that ecosystem,” old Boca Grande angler Chris O’neill, who in a video posted on Facebook documenting the dead marine life, told the news station.

“The bigger fish have been hit in large numbers, and that is what is really of me,” he added.

As of Friday afternoon, the fisherman’s video has more than 2 million views and 5,000 comments.

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O’neill is “plead” with wildlife officials to take action, ABC10 reported.

“The FWC is taking this matter very seriously,” spokeswoman Melody Kilborn told ABC10, adding that the organization “identification of the species concerned” and working to determine how many fish have died.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

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