Wildlife are washing up on Florida beaches and lakes, and it's because of an algae bloom that has lasted nine months.
Mote Marine Laboratory scientists caution that time is of the essence in delivering care to an animal sickened by red tide.
At least 400 sea turtles have died, Newsweek is reporting.
These samples are analyzed for detection and enumeration of Karenia brevis-the species responsible for Florida red tide-along with water quality parameters, phytoplankton community composition, and red tide toxins, officials said. Tissue taken from the whale shark's organs and muscles tested positive for brevetoxin, a neurotoxin created by the algae. Officials documented 287 sea turtle deaths in Gulf of Mexico waters coast since the toxic bloom started in October.
It's also affecting businesses along the coast.
Crews on Florida's Sanibel Island shoveled up and bagged dead fish Thursday as southwest Florida deals with one of the longest red tide outbreaks in years. The toxin affects marine life and causes respiratory irritation in humans and animals. The FWC reports that this recent bloom has been monitored since November.