SIESTA KEY, Fla. — Tourists visiting from states like Texas and Louisiana are shocked to see dead sea life on Sarasota County beaches.
"Choking, gagging, coughing and the horrible smell," said Princeton Hamilton, Louisiana resident.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials have received more than 400 fish kill reports in seven counties including Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier and Monroe. FWC said it has been monitoring this bloom since it started in November 2017.
Red tide killing fish on Siesta Key, scientists fear it will continue to spread to Tampa Bay
Businesses along the coast say they're hurting because of red tide
Red tide is causing fish to die and wash up on shore. Beaches like Siesta Key are littered with dead fish.
"This was actually my first time coming to Florida so it was horrible for me," added Hamilton.
Michael Holderness, a Siesta Key business owner, says the impact of red tide are devastating.
"What do we do now? We lost more fish than I've ever seen in my life," said Michael Holderness, a Siesta Key resident and business owner.
This week, FWC rescued manatees with signs of red tide exposure in Charlotte County. Officials shared photos on Facebook. They're asking people to always report distressed or dead wildlife to officials first before posting on social media.
To report a fish kill, contact FWC's Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online.