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Red Tide hurting local businesses

Local captains affected by fish kills
Posted: 11:08 PM, Jun 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-25 11:10:17Z

Photos surfaced online of dead marine life littering Boca Grande Beach Friday. The images and video were posted to the Save Our Florida Fisheries Facebook page. People in the area and other parts of Southwest Florida commented on how much more frequent these events have become since the latest Red Tide event. 

"It's killing fish at a level we have never seen before", said Rhett Morris. 

Morris is a charter boat captain based out of Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda. With a career that spans more than two decades, Morris has seen the shift in water quality over the years. He says this most recent event is the worst he's seen. 

"I've been canceling charters halfway through and canceling trips for the next day one I tell people what to expect for that day's fishing." 

Morris told Four in Your Corner he's not the only captain feeling the effects of Red Tide this summer. Morris is a member of Captains for Clean Water, and organizations dedicated to preserving marine ecosystems. He says the organization had been doing what they can to raise awareness, but the real action will only happen when more people get involved. 

Morris says red tide due to Algae blooms is what's causing the dead marine life to wash up all over Boca Grande. The source of the red tide, he says, is an outdated water filtration system. 

“We’re using an outdated water management system and people have to have water so if we don’t have clean water in the future and we’re stuffing people in as fast as we can, I don’t know where we’re gonna end up". he says.