These samples are analyzed for detection and enumeration of Karenia brevis-the species responsible for Florida red tide-along with water quality parameters, phytoplankton community composition, and red tide toxins, officials said.
With red tide, the water might be a little discolored with a hint of red or brown but it's not always visible.
Red tide, which refers to higher than normal algae blooms of the organism Karenia brevis, happens nearly annually and has been a natural occurrence for centuries. Tissue taken from the whale shark's organs and muscles tested positive for brevetoxin, a neurotoxin created by the algae.
An unusual number of dead animals have been washing up on Florida's shores this summer.
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The deputy contacted Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a marine biologist determined the manatee was paralyzed due to the red tide after the deputy described its symptoms.
"FWC will deploy additional scientists to assist local efforts to save animals affected by the naturally occurring red tide".
Most algae blooms are beneficial to the ocean, providing a source of food for marine creatures. It comes from the ocean and can cause breathing problems, teary eyes, scratchy throats and make it unbearable to be at the beach.
"During my time in office, we have invested millions of dollars to research and mitigate red tide along Florida's Gulf Coast", Scott said in a statement.
More than a dozen people have gone to the emergency room after exposure to the blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.