'Red tide' blamed for whale shark, turtle, dolphin carcasses on Florida beaches

The city is issuing a daily "fish kill clean-up" report because of the "unprecedented volume of dead sea life now washing up".

Red tides at Sanibel Island in Florida have continued to leave beaches looking like graveyards, with dozens of fish and other sea life washed up on the shore.

"FWC and DEP will enhance cleanup efforts, public awareness initiatives and water testing to ensure that Floridians understand the best ways to minimize the impact of red tide", a press release added.

WINK Meteorologist Matt Devitt posted on Facebook about some of the devastation.

According to U.S. network CNN, this year's effect of the red tide on marine life has been unprecedented. Respiratory irritation and murky clumps of red drift algae have been reported from Collier to Sarasota counties.

The news agency said about 160.9 kilometres of coastline had been affected so far.

The ongoing toxic algae bloom is considered to be the longest red tide outbreak for the Gulf of Mexico in over a decade, and officials say it will most likely last until 2019.

"It's hard to predict more than a few days out [when it will end]", Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Michelle Kerr told CNN.

For starters, blue-green algae is very noticeable.

"It's certainly disgusting", said Amy Benton, who walked along the shoreline early Thursday with a scarf over her nose and mouth as protection.

"With this year's red tide being more substantial than previous years, we must do everything we can to help minimize its harm to our water and wildlife".

The US Federal Government met with Florida residents in late July to discuss the water quality issue after Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in the area around Lake Okeechobee.

  • Essie Rivera