Carcasses of sharks, fish and other marine creatures appeared in the waters of West Florida. These are because of a phenomenon known as the red tide. Unusually high blooms of algae cause this. It generates a substance that has an effect on the central nervous system of the sharks and other marine creatures. It also affects humans because of water pollution, lower level of oxygen and carcasses jamming the waterways.

Daily Mail UK says people spotted different species of shark darting into the canals of Buttonwood Harbor. This is far away from their natural habitat.

It was a rare sight in the canal. These marine predators began to surface in the bay only last week. As a resident told a section of the media: “You could literally walk across the canal on the backs of the sharks in the water.” The reason is red tide invasion of their normal habitat in Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay. The former is a travel destination and the repulsive sight of dead marine animals spoil the attraction. In August 2018, a news item mentioned about risk to marine lives in the Gulf Coast. It was due to red tide and green slime algae bloom.

Marine lives suffer from red tide and climate change

The Gulf Coast of Florida experiences the red tide phenomenon annually. Experts say these are natural events and have become more frequent because of Climate change.

The warmer waters help the microscopic algae population to flourish. Mote Marine Labs say the red tide has remained since December 2020. However, it is more severe. Nine counties in West Florida reported massive loss of fish. There are also instances of humans struck by respiratory issues. Daily Mail UK adds that samples of water reveal concentrations of red tide several times greater than accepted levels.

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Incidentally, there is a fertilizer plant nearby. A breach in April led to discharge of huge quantities of toxic material into Tampa Bay. The sharks moved into the canals but they will face shortage of food and might not survive for long. There are plans for a marine park in the seabed off the coast of Essex.

The red tide killed large marine animals

Daily Mail UK quotes city officials saying the current season is the worst red tide seen since 2018. The bloom can spread across a large area and has the ability to kill large animals like manatees and dolphins. The area witnessed four summertime blooms since the 1900s. This year, these have killed large number of manatees. The reason is the loss of beds of seagrass on which the animals survive. In order to combat the evil, marine biologists sprayed wet clay to kill algae cells and toxins. This is a strategy used in other parts of the world.

Marine animals like sharks shift to the Florida canal

According to Independent UK, some residents in Florida are finding different species of sharks in the canal.

These marine animals have left the coastal regions to escape from the impact of a toxic red tide. In the words of an expert on sharks: “You just don’t normally see sharks piling up like that in these canals, they do go in there but not in the huge numbers that we’re seeing reported.” The issue of the red tide started in 2017 and led to a huge loss of marine life. This year, it is a result of warmer waters and pollution. The warmer waters is from global warming. It has a direct effect on melting of glaciers, droughts, forest fires and the death of marine animals from red tide. The National Weather Service cautioned residents of Pinellas County about possible health problems that they might experience. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis initiated The Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force. It would work in coordination with other research groups to evolve a solution on how to reduce the severity of red tides.