top of page

Fishery that was saved by Hurricane Ian is now in decline due to red tide.

Southwest Florida is typically home to one of the best fisheries, but Hurricane Ian may have raised some questions about fisheries and their safety.

There is a lot of concern about Vibrio vulnificus (flesh eating bacteria) after Lee county have seen 28 cases, six resulting in deaths.

Vibrio is a type of bacteria that you can contract by consuming infested seafood, including oysters and clams. If you consume it without cooking it thoroughly, there's a chance that the food will transmit Vibrio.

Thankful the coastal fishery survived the storm because it makes sense that if they evolved with being around tropical storms and hurricanes, they could withstand one.

Still some people are concerned about the possible presence of contaminants in seafood from the area.

The Florida Department of Health in Collier County has sent an email to Marco Island residents, saying they should not harvest or eat molluscan shellfish, or distressed or dead fish from this location, and that if caught live and healthy, finfish are safe to eat if they are filleted, and the guts are discarded.

Red tide has lingered off the coast of Sarasota County for weeks and has recently come into Lee & Collier waters.

The tackle industry has seen a significant decline. Fishing is disabled in most coastal areas because of the post-hurricane restrictions, but normally bait fish migration is at its peak during the Fall and this combined with many other factors allows for good fishing.

Fishing families have witnessed the deterioration of water quality over the years. Decreased oxygen levels in Southwest Florida’s waters have reduced the availability of food for fish, which has caused stocks to dwindle and fishing operations to close.

Commercial fishermen have been putting time and care into each catch, ensuring they're cooled, cooked, and ready to be consumed.

Local fish population is still being studied following Ian's work.


bottom of page