Written by Leslie Taylor
TAMPA, Fla. — The largest red-tide bloom seen in Florida in nearly a decade has killed thousands of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and might pose a greater health threat if it washes ashore as expected in the next two weeks, researchers said.
The patchy bloom stretches from the curve of the panhandle to the central Tampa Bay region. It measures approximately 80 miles long by 50 miles wide.
Red tide occurs when naturally occurring algae bloom out of control, producing toxins deadly to fish and other marine life. The odorless chemicals can trigger respiratory distress in people, such as coughing and wheezing.
“It could have large impacts if it were to move inshore,” said Brandon Basino, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “It has been killing a lot of marine species, especially fish, as it waits offshore.”
The agency has received reports of thousands of dead fish, including snappers, groupers, flounders and bull sharks, as well as crabs, eels and octopi. This is the largest bloom seen since 2006.
The phenomenon has existed for centuries, but such a large bloom is being closely monitored in Florida because it could affect beach tourism and commercial fishing.
Read the full story at the Columbus Dispatch>>
Want to read more about red tide? Click here...
NOAA recently published a proposed rule that would implement a traceability plan to help combat IUU fishing. The program would seek to trace the origins of imported seafood by setting up reporting and filing procedures for products entering the U.S.
The traceability program would collect data on harvest, landing, and chain of custody of fish and fish products that have been identified as particularly vulnerable to IUU fishing and fraud.Read more...
The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:
The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.Read more...