TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay charter captains are struggling to balance their livelihood and red tide.
“I’ve probably lost about a months worth of trips because of this,” Captain Brian Jill said. “This is hands-down the worst red tide that I’ve ever seen.”
Besides the immediate slow down of clientele, Captain Jill said seeing the devastation caused by red tide is heartbreaking. He took several picture of the fish kills in Pinellas County over the weekend.
“It’s a serious struggle and it makes you super depressed just seeing it,” he said.
Dozens of fishing guides and business owners met at 81 Bay Brewing on Tuesday afternoon to talk about potential solutions.
“We need to create pressure, public pressure, to drive it,” said one of the speakers. “Create meaningful legislation to attack nutrients, to attack what feeds these blooms. Yeah, red tide is a natural thing – so are forest fires. It’s not natural to dump fuel on them.”
Captain Jill hopes these conversations are the beginning of further actions.
“If anything, I just come back with a little more information than going into it, and I see it as a preliminary get together that hopefully we can continue to do and build upon,” he said.
The FWC is also working on grants so they can financially assist Hillsborough and Pinellas County authorities with clean up efforts.