Monday, August 7, 2017

Red tide found in two water samples from Gulf County

Red tide was found in background concentrations in two water samples taken from the St. Joe Bay last week.

According to the state's weekly red tide report, the positive samples were found at Eagle Harbor north of the St. Joe Bay and St. Joseph Point about 1 mile southwest of the St. Joe Bay.

Red Tide is an organism that in large enough concentrations releases a neurotoxin that can kill fish and even affect humans with eye, nose and throat irritation.

In 2015 a persistent red tide bloom decimated the scallop population in St. Joe Bay.

The scallops are rebounding, but the opening of scallop season has been delayed because of an algae bloom.

The Bay Scallop season in Gulf County was supposed to open on July 25th but is still closed because of a recent Pseudo-nitzschia bloom.

Pseudo-nitzschia does not harm scallops directly and shouldn’t cause scallop population declines, but it does produce domoic acid, which can negatively impact marine mammals and seabirds and can cause Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning in humans if contaminated shellfish are consumed.

State agencies are continuing to sample and test scallops and other shellfish in the bay to determine when they are safe for consumption and will continue to work with the local community to determine options on the remainder of the scallop season.