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Upwards of 17 tons of fish have been cleared from Florida waters since Red Tide – a toxic algal bloom – hit Pinellas County this month.

The majority of the animals’ bodies did not make it to land on their own – county officials enlisted boats to collect the fish from the water, in order to avoid a dismal scene on shore.

Lives lost

The red tide has been making its way along the Florida coast for much of the summer – leaving wildlife devastation in its wake.

Hundreds of sea turtles had already washed up on Southwest Florida shores by late July, while 12 dolphins were reported dead in late August.

Additionally, a spike in manatee deaths has been linked to Red Tide.

Climate change

The toxic algal bloom – which causes deadly gastrointestinal and neurological problems for sea life – is exacerbated by climate change and rising temperatures.

Scientists have suggested that continued climate change is likely to intensify the problem to the point where humans are made sick by swimming in Florida waters, marine life will continue to suffer, and eating ‘seafood’ will come with additional health risk to the consumer.

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious...