St. Pete crews collect more than 6 tons of dead fish as red tide continues

dead-fish-in-canal
The dead fish may have been brought to shore by Tropical Storm Elsa.

St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin announced Thursday afternoon the city has collected more than 10,000 dead fish along the shoreline and waterways in the past week — that’s six tons.

“This cleanup impacts our level of service in other areas, but we recognize the importance,” Tomalin wrote in a tweet. “As fish continue to wash up, we’ll continue our efforts.”

The cleanup comes as red tide ravages areas of the Pinellas County coast — the most recent status update provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission showed that Pinellas County had the highest concentrations of the algae that causes red tide in the state, with high levels around St. Pete’s coastal area.

The status update also details reports of fish kills in the waterways of Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties, as well as potential respiratory irritation caused by the algae bloom in Pinellas and Sarasota counties.

It remains unclear if Tropical Storm Elsa helped or hindered this year’s red tide bloom, according to the Tampa Bay Times. But, it did seem to move dead fish closer to shorelines.

In efforts to address the red tide, Gov. Ron DeSantis visited St. Pete in mid-June to meet with a handful of state environmental leaders to discuss the latest developments in red tide research.

The panelists overwhelmingly praised DeSantis’ efforts in red tide research and funding, as well as the Governor’s move to reinstate the Red Tide Task Force in 2019 after being inactive for more than a decade. Since 2019, the state has dedicated more than $14.5 million to the Center for Red Tide Research at FWC.

Researchers made clear they are still working to improve technology designed to deter and detect red tide.

The impact of the Piney Point leak briefly wedged its way into the discussion. Tom Frazer, dean of the University of South Florida College of Marine Science, said that while Piney Point likely did not cause the current bloom, it could have exacerbated it.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


6 comments

  • zhombre

    July 8, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    Wrap them in copies of the TBT and Creative Loafing.

  • OriginalJud

    July 8, 2021 at 4:57 pm

    The city crews are working really hard and it’s a very smelly job as I have ridden my bike around through it daily now. It’s a real shame if no one connects this to the piney point discharge, last summer the water remained crystal clear the entire summer.

    • Lee

      July 9, 2021 at 11:47 pm

      I agree! Clean it up and figure it out. It’s miserable for residents.

  • Michelle Twin

    July 9, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    it’s from sewage spills

  • Jermel A Clark

    July 9, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Florida has been called the seat of Satan. When you look at these things they are actually mentioned in the Bible. Admittedly this is early but totally predicted. “The chickens have come home to roost.” Any state that Trump chooses to live has to be a haven for pedophiles. Jeffrey Epstein called Florida home, Matt Gaetz calls Florida home, and Trump calls Florida home.

  • zhombre

    July 9, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    Move to a more godly state. Maybe Nevada.

Comments are closed.


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