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Red tide present on Sarasota County beaches

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 18:20:07-05

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — Sarasota Beaches are getting hit by red tide. The latest FWC map shows it present on Lido and Venice beaches.

Fisherman Rob Merlino said he hasn’t fished off the Venice Pier in months, because of the red tide epidemic.

“There just isn’t a lot of life out here and you aren’t going to eat anything that you catch anyway, because I don’t know what’s in this water,” said Merlino.

Mote Marine Scientists are looking for new technologies to kill red tide. Scientists Cynthia Heil said they are still researching why this current algae bloom is so strong.

"The scientists I’ve talked to are kind of perplexed as to why it has persisted for extended periods,” said Heil.

The latest red tide tracking map shows no red tide in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Visitors are not reporting fish kills, only minor respiratory irritations.