If you live in Florida or the surrounding area, you’re probably already familiar with the red tide. The red tide is a natural phenomenon with several different causes. It affects coastal beaches along the Gulf Coast and is an important thing to educate yourself about if you’ll be visiting the area.
What Is the Red Tide?
The red tide is a problem that has been affecting Florida since as early as the 1840s. It’s a period of high concentrations of the microscopic and toxic algae called Karenia Brevis. These periods of higher concentrations of algae are called blooms. Red tide primarily affects southwest Florida, but particularly bad outbreaks can spread to the panhandle and even the eastern shores. The effects of the red tide are found in both marine life and people.
Though Karenia Brevis affects marine life and could harm people in direct contact with it (swimming), professionals in the area from the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and other organizations are taking continual steps to study, manage and improve the situation, as well as keep people informed, updated and safe. When there’s a red tide warning in effect, you should stay away from the impacted beaches, but it doesn’t mean you have to worry about seafood in the area. Here’s why.
How Is the Red Tide Affecting Florida Fish and Seafood in Naples?
Like many coastal states, Florida is known for its delicious and fresh seafood. But how much does the red tide affect the seafood market in Florida? The bottom line – it doesn’t. This is because officials, local agencies, and organizations have implemented regulations to keep food and visitors safe.
Fishermen are among the many individuals who have to abide by these regulations to avoid the red tide, including going to geographical locations with clean waters to collect seafood for local restaurants. For instance, fish you’d find in local Florida seafood restaurants actually come from the west side of the Gulf, which is not affected by the red tide at all. Similarly, clams found in Naples, Florida restaurants come from the North side of the state.
Many fishermen in the Gulf are traveling 80 to 100 miles offshore to catch fish like snapper and grouper, and the FWC has reported that the red tide bloom extends only 20 to 30 miles offshore.
Although red tide has had a serious impact on the waters and air along the Florida coast, local governments, agencies, and organizations know how to work through it. These organizations regularly test waters along the coast and make their data public. When red tide concentrations begin to rise, fishing activities are halted to avoid any possible problems, and warnings are sent out about areas affected.
These local organizations make it easy for restaurants like USS Nemo to ensure that our food has not been affected by the red tide.
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