Red tide suspected in death of nine dolphins

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VENICE, Fla. (WFLA) – Nine bottlenose dolphins have been found dead since Tuesday in Sarasota County, WFLA reported.

Authorities and marine officials suspect that Red tide is what killed the dolphins, though, an autopsy will confirm whether that to be true or not.

Red tide is an algal bloom which produces harmful toxins in the water. Thousands of dead fish, turtles and manatees have washed up on Florida beaches because of Red tide.

The dolphins were found in the following locations, according to WFLA:

  • 2 dolphins found Aug. 7 on a Gulf of Mexico beach in Venice.
  • 1 dolphin found Aug. 8 on Intracoastal Waterway in Venice.
  • 1 dolphin recovered from Caspersen Beach on Aug. 8.
  • 1 dolphin reported floating in Nokomis.
  • 1 dolphin discovered floating off mid-Casey Key.
  • 1 dolphin recovered on Aug. 8 into the early morning of Aug. 9 on Siesta Key.
  • 1 dolphin recovered Aug. 9 on Siesta Key.
  • 1 dolphin recovered Aug. 9 on Casey Key.

All nine of the dolphins were found moderately or severely decomposed.

"This is one of the most intense events I've worked in," a Mote Marine spokeswoman told WFLA.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation has been monitoring Red tide since November.

More information on the dolphins' deaths will be released once autopsies are completed.