State Report on Red Tide Disputed
A state report claimed that there has not been an increase in the incidences and severity of red tide in southwest Florida, but University of Miami marine biologist, Larry Brand, has already criticized the findings.
"Red tide is more abundant," he said. "You can count on it getting worse."
Other reports see red tide and other harmful blooms increasing on a global scale.
According the Mote Marine Laboratory:
Florida red tides happen when a naturally occurring single-celled microscopic organism called Karenia brevis – which is always present in the Gulf of Mexico – undergoes a population increase. Florida red tides occur nearly annually on Florida’s west coast and occur in other areas of the Gulf of Mexico as well. Karenia brevis produces neurotoxins that can kill marine mammals, fish and other marine creatures. Blooms have been shown to affect humans with chronic respiratory problems such as asthma. Because of these impacts, blooms may also
have major impacts on coastal residents, visitors and economies.
Many environmental groups link red tide to human causes, particularly pollution from agricultural run off.