Oil-like substance appearing on Suncoast beaches

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SARASOTA - A substance that resembles crude oil has been spotted in the waters along the Suncoast, but Mote Marine says it's not oil at all.

The photos seen here were sent to ABC 7 yesterday.  They were taken a short distance off Venice and show what looks like a good-sized slick of oil.

ABC 7 contacted Mote Marine this morning, and they said it's a form of algae.  The substance has been spotted off the coast of Anna Maria Island as well.

Venice city officials have examined the substance and say it's just a form of algae called trichodesmium.

Beachgoers in Venice Friday didn't seem to mind as many were in the water, trying to beat the heat.