Can anyone explain what "Red Tide is?

Jun 11th, 2003, 09:20 AM
  #1  
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Can anyone explain what "Red Tide is?

There's a question on this forum about Red Tide in FL. As a follow-up to that, I ask: What is Red Tide? What causes it? What are its effects, besides dead fish?
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Jun 11th, 2003, 09:26 AM
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Toxic algae that shellfish feed on. Toxins can be spread to humans who consume the shellfish. Mostly in spring and fall.
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Jun 11th, 2003, 09:28 AM
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Red tide is not pollution, it's an algae that forms when plankton can't recieve sufficient nutrients from the water. It occurs due to high water tempature.
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Jun 11th, 2003, 10:01 AM
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It's the Junior Varsity version of the Crimson Tide.

What . . . ? It isn't? Oh . . . .
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Jun 11th, 2003, 10:01 AM
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cfc
 
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When it's really bad, somehow the toxins get into the air; and it can really bother people with respiratory problems, asthma, etc. You can't smell it very well if at all, but I've been on Siesta Beach in Sarasota when it was bad, and my eyes stung and I coughed a lot.
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Jun 11th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Incredibly helpful information on one page: http://www.marinelab.sarasota.fl.us/...WREDTIDE.phtml
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Jun 11th, 2003, 10:09 AM
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The organisms that cause red tides are actually known by scientists as dinoflagellates - not really algae, but rather single-celled plankton that are not easily classified as "plants" or "animals" because they have characteristics of each group. At certain times, for complex reasons that are not very well understood (not simply nutrients or temperature, but related to both, along with other factors), their population can increase dramatically in a so-called "bloom" which colors the water a rusty red.

The red tide dinoflagellates produce neurotoxins that become concentrated in clams, oysters, and other organisms that feed by filtering large volumes of water containing the dinoflagellates. These organisms then become unsafe to eat and can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. The flesh of fish, and shellfish such as crabs and shrimp, usually remains safe to eat. Red tides can also irritate the skin and mucus membranes of swimmers.
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