SARASOTA, Fla. -- A three-day research cruise to the red tide bloom off Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties shows it is growing and still moving slowly south-southeast, according to officials from the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission.
Early findings show the bloom has grown to about 90 miles long, that's 10 miles longer than a week ago.
Brandon Basino, FWC media relations coordinator, says researchers found the bloom is as close as 30 miles off shore and as far out as 70 miles.
Basino says the bloom farther from shore is patchy and the highest concentrated were found at stations about 70 miles offshore. The bloom is most dense in the northern and western region, according to researchers.
Scientists found the bloom is not only on the surface but down throughout the water column. Scientists from several agencies took samples from the red tide bloom off of Hernando.
Basino says scientist with FWC, the University of South Florida and Mote Marine were successful in creating a 3-D image of the bloom by mapping the surface and bottom waters.
FWC says the bloom stretches the length of five counties from Dixie to Pinellas.
Basino tells 10 News FWC will have more information during its weekly Friday report.