I ran 21 miles last week. That seems like such a low number to me since that would be a long run for me just a few years ago but these days it’s progress so there’s that.
It’s also balls hot here so anything over 3 miles a day and I’m going to need a saline drip.
Did I mention that I’m a widow. Well, not technically a widow but a fishing widow.
Actually, I like to fish too. A lot. Unfortunately the red tide in the Venice area is horrible right now and based on my recent breathing issues, I’m not taking any chances.
In case you don’t know what red tide is, it’s the result of a harmful algae bloom, in most of the cases around our area, it’s an organism called Karenia Brevis or K. Brevis as it’s commonly known. Not only is a Florida red tide harmful to the fish but it is also harmful to humans.
K. brevis, produces brevetoxins that can affect the central nervous system of fish and other vertebrates which causes these animals to die. The waves from the Gulf of Mexico can cause the K. brevis cells to break open and release these toxins into the air leading to respiratory irritation. For people with severe or chronic respiratory conditions red tide can cause serious illness. The red tide toxins can also accumulate in oysters and clams and that can lead to Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning if you consume contaminated shellfish.
Red tides have been recorded for decades in Florida, it’s not something new. That being said there are a lot of people who believe that pollution has made the situation much worse and there are some people who believe that the water releases from Lake Okeechobee might cause or worsen the situation. Scientist say that the later is not true.
I’m not a scientist and to be honest I don’t really know enough about it to make an informed decision but it seems to me that if you release algae infested waters into other bodies of water, the algae would follow as well which could create algae blooms. Right?
This year the red tide has been going on for quite a while and it seems like it last longer every year. I don’t remember having any red tide the first few years that we had a house in Venice. A few weeks ago MacGyver and I went down to the beach to collect some shells and there were dead fish all over the beach, the smell was horrible. It’s very sad to see all of the dead fish laying on the shore and floating in the water.
And it’s not just the respiratory problems that scare me, it’s also scary to think about what you might be consuming when you fish in the Gulf of Mexico and you eat what you catch, which we do.
This weekend I avoided the water the entire time. When MacGyver asked if I wanted to go, I said no and adopted this new attitude.
Maybe this red tide will die off soon and we can get back to business, the business of competing for the most fish caught. Because, obviously I will win.
What do you know about red tide?
Have you ever gotten sick breathing the air during red tide?