The hordes of fish were killed by a red tide, a large "bloom" of toxic algae that appears on Florida's Gulf Coast about once a year. Experts say the bloom shouldn't be happening right now.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, at least 358 manatees have died in Florida since Jan. 1. This is a staggering number compared to just 122 deaths by this time last year.
On Feb. 16, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation reported that many residents and visitors have called SCCF, the city of Sanibel and Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife with concerns about royal terns over the past few weeks and the sight of their carcasses on the Sanibel Causeway bridges. Test results on deceased royal terns confirmed on Feb. 15 that they had high levels of brevetoxins, the neurotoxin associated with red tide.
Two more calves have been spotted off the coast of Amelia Island in Florida, increasing the total number of calves seen this season to 11, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.