A proliferation of one or different microalgae that has a harmful effect on other organisms, better known as Red Tide, seems to be responsible for the massive death of fish in Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg shoreline. Reports of hundreds of dead fish along the coast have reached authorities who are making efforts to clean up the area as they are also trying to fight the red tide.
Over 600 tons of dead fish have been collected from the St. Petersburg shoreline in recent weeks. At first, it was not understood what was happening however, after several studies the experts presume that it is a large bloom of toxic red tide.
The images have been circulating on social media for the past few days and have caused shock among users.
Massive Fish Washing Up At Tampa Bay Due To Red Tide
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Among the most significant dead fish are several giant Goliath Grouper. A few have been reported throughout the coast. The first was one that washed up on the beach at Lassing Park in southeast St. Petersburg. Then a few miles north one more was sighted.
Despite the efforts of the authorities, the red tide seems not to recede and some experts speculate that the problem could extend for several months.
Although red tide is a natural phenomenon, its occurrence could be exacerbated by a greater presence of nitrogen and in this area of Tampa Bay, the levels of this nutrient have been identified to currently be 17 times higher than normal, which could be related to the April leak of tens of millions of gallons of contaminated water from the old Piney Point fertilizer plant along the bay in nearby Manatee County.
“We have no reason not to link those two things together,” said Maya Burke, Tampa Bay Estuary Program assistant director
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman indicated that all possible assistance would be needed to solve the problem, asking for State Government intervention headed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.