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Tampa Bay Is Florida's Epicenter Of Red Tide

 Map of red tide
Map of red tide

Tampa Bay has become the state's epicenter of red tide.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported Friday afternoon that high concentrations of red tide were found in the bay, including several areas near downtown St. Petersburg.

Dead fish have washed ashore from Tropical Storm Elsa and swamped St. Petersburg. Crews from the city collected nine tons of dead fish since Thursday. City officials said they were killed by red tide blooms.

Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were also reported the past week in Pasco, Hillsborough, Manatee, and Sarasota counties.

The organism that causes red tide has been found in 53 places along the Gulf Coast in the past week. High concentrations were found in 27 samples. Of those, 12 were found in Pinellas; eight in Hillsborough; six in Pasco and one in Sarasota County.

Medium concentrations of red tide were found off several places in Pinellas including Anclote Key, Redington Beach, Weedon Island and Gulfport.

Respiratory irritation related to red tide also was reported over the past week in Pinellas and Sarasota counties.

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 Map of red tide in Tampa Bay
/ Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Map of red tide in Tampa Bay