ENGLEWOOD (FOX 13) - The ongoing red tide bloom along the coast of Southwest Florida is being blamed for the deaths of many types of marine life, and it may be responsible for the sad scenes encountered by boaters over the last few days.
Tuesday, FOX 13 anchor Mark Wilson shared video he shot inside Manasota Key. The footage showed what he believed were two baby manatees, swimming around the body of a dead adult manatee.
Late Monday, Venice resident Tyler DeGraff shared a similar scene. He described four to six manatees nudging the remains of a manatee, adding that there were thousands of dead fish in the area along with a “potent smell of death.”
Both of these new videos were filmed in roughly the same location, but it was not immediately clear if they showed the same scene or different manatee deaths.
Back in 2013, 200 manatees died in Southwest Florida because of red tide.
Red tide is an algae bloom that depletes oxygen in the water. The bloom has been present in southern Sarasota County for the last 10 months. It's caused a headache for beachgoers in Venice, Manasota and Charlotte counties, and killed marine life along the coast.
According to Mark Wilson, agents with Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission will be heading out to recover the body of the manatee he spotted. If the young manatees are still around, Mote Marine Lab or Clearwater Marine Aquarium will be notified for a possible rescue.
FWC asks that boaters and beachgoers report any sick, injured, or dead manatees by calling 1-888-404-FWCC or *FWC.