What Is a Red Tide, and How Does It Affect Fishing?

What Is a Red Tide, and How Does It Affect Fishing?

December 17, 2019

Along the coast of Florida, between 10 and 40 miles out to sea, there lies the potential for a unique global event. It’s called Florida red tide, a harmful type of algae that can result in hazardous fishing conditions. For anyone wondering, “What is red tide?” our Fort Lauderdale experts have the answer.

What is red tide?

Red tide is what’s known as a toxic algal bloom. It occurs when a specific type of algae known as Karenia brevis, or K. brevis, overtakes the rest of the algae in the water. The aggressive red algae is present between 10 and 40 miles off the shore of Florida, as well as in various locations throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

When water chemistry conditions line up correctly, and K. brevis is fed the correct nutrients, it can swell into a vast red cloud in the ocean. If the conditions of the water current are right, this algal bloom can be carried inland toward shore.

K. brevis is toxic for fish

Karenia brevis has plagued the waters off the coast of Florida for generations. As far back as the 1500s, Spanish explorers reported fish killed by a floating red tide. Today, we understand that K. brevis is toxic for fish because it secretes a type of toxin known as brevetoxins, which attack their central nervous system.

In large enough doses, K. brevis can also prove fatal for other forms of marine life, as well as birds.

Avoid the tide

When a red tide crops up, it is tracked meticulously so that ecologists and scientists can study its impact. This research has yielded patterns that scientists can use to predict the movement of red tides. This allows fishers to steer clear of a red tide when they set out for the day.

Fortunately, in Fort Lauderdale, red tide is easy enough to avoid.

It’s safe to fish during a red tide

Provided you’re not fishing directly into a red tide, fishing should be perfectly safe. That said, you should make sure that any fish you catch or eat is thoroughly filleted before being cooked.

The toxins that kill fish, brevetoxins, accrue in the animal’s gut. When a fish is filleted, its internal organs are removed, thus eliminating any threat posed by the red tide.

It’s also important to remember never to eat any fish that have been recovered from a red tide, regardless of how they’ve been prepared.

Don’t fear the red tide

Still wondering, “Is red tide bad for fishing?” When you enlist the services of Starboard Yacht Group LLC, the answer is, “Nothing to worry about.” We take immense pride in offering the best in customer service to each of our valued clients. When you need the area’s best yacht services, including maintenance, engineering, fueling, hauling, captain and crew services, management and more, you can count on the knowledgeable team at Starboard Yacht Group LLC.

We’re here to provide the supplies, intelligence and service you need to fulfill your yacht dreams. Visit us online or give us a call today to find out more. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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