Red Tide Report (Update)

Red Tide Mid-Week Update for December 5, 2018

Current Conditions
Bloom concentrations of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persist in Southwest Florida. In Northwest Florida and on the East Coast, K. brevis cells were present but not at bloom concentrations. Additional details are provided below.

  • Over the past week in Southwest Florida, K. brevis was observed in samples from and/or offshore of Pinellas to Collier counties, excluding Hillsborough County. Observations of >1,000,000 K. brevis cells per liter (“high” concentrations) and “medium” concentrations occurred in those same counties, with the exception of Manatee County where “high” levels were not detected. Relative to last week, K. brevis concentrations generally decreased in Manatee and Sarasota counties, and parts of Pinellas, Charlotte and Lee counties. Cell concentrations increased in other parts of Pinellas, Charlotte and Lee counties as well as in Collier County. 
  • In Northwest Florida, conditions during this past week were comparable to last week, with K. brevis observed in or offshore of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Bay, Gulf, and Franklin counties but not at bloom (“high” or “medium”) concentrations.
  • Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background concentrations in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties only.

Fish Kills
In Southwest Florida, fish kill reports were received for Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties. In Northwest Florida, fish kills were reported in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Gulf counties. Fish kills were not reported for the East Coast of Florida. More detailed information is available at

Respiratory Irritation
Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Southwest Florida (in Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Lee, and Collier counties) and Northwest Florida (in Escambia and Okaloosa counties). Respiratory irritation was not reported on the East Coast of Florida.

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red TidesExternal Website for Pinellas to northern Monroe counties predict net southwestern transport of surface waters and net southeastern movement of subsurface waters in most areas over the next four days. Four-day forecasts for Escambia to Gulf counties predict net southeastern surface transport and net northeastern subsurface movement in most areas.

Red Tide Status Map (December 5, 2018)
Statewide Red Tide Counts November 27 through December 4, 2018
View a larger map Adobe PDF (December 5, 2018)

To see detailed information on this week's samples, view the current Statewide Google Earth Interactive Map (December 5, 2018)External Website.

By using Google Earth, you can zoom in to specific locations and click on stations to see detailed information, including sample date and cell concentration. You must have Google Earth installed on your computer to view this map; the software can be downloaded from the Google Earth websiteExternal Website.

The next complete red tide status report will be posted on Friday, December 7th. Please check our daily sampling map which can be accessed from the top of this page.


Archived status maps can be found in our Flickr galleryExternal Website. Previous regional status reports and maps can be found on our red tide resources page.

Latest Red Tide Status Report Available by Phone
Call 866-300-9399 at any time from anywhere in Florida to hear a recording about red tide conditions throughout the state. Callers outside of Florida can dial 727-552-2448. Standard calling charges apply.

Reports are updated on Friday afternoon except during holidays, in which case the report will be released on the closest day. Additional information, if available, is provided on Wednesday afternoon. To receive an e-mail when the current status has been updated, visit our subscription area.

Additional Information
For additional information about red tide and the current red tide bloom, including information on how to report a fish kill or other wildlife effects, consult health authorities about human exposure, or locate other resources, visit our Red Tide-Related Hotlines and Information Sources article.

Blue-Green Algae Bloom Information
Additional information regarding the current status of algal blooms in South Florida is being consolidated and posted on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s website: Website.


DescriptionKarenia brevis cells/literPossible Effects (K. brevis only)
NOT PRESENT - BACKGROUND background levels of 1,000 cells or less None anticipated
VERY LOW >1,000 to 10,000 Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures > 5,000 cells/L
LOW >10,000 to 100,000 Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits
MEDIUM >100,000 to 1,000,000 Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills
HIGH >1,000,000

As above plus discoloration

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