Are Fish Safe to Eat When Red Tide is Present

Fish caught in red tide waters is safe to eat, according to FWC.
Fish caught in red tide waters is safe to eat, according to FWC.

SEBASTIAN – While we were out and about checking out where Red Tide is present in Wabasso, Sebastian, and Brevard we noticed a lot of people still fishing where Red Tide has been confirmed.

Which bought us to wonder about if the fish they are catching are safe to consume. After doing our research, we found that the fish are safe to eat.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, fish caught in red tide waters is safe to eat, as long as it’s filleted beforehand. That process will keep the red tide toxins in the fish’s gut and out of your meal.

Toxins can accumulate in the fish’s guts. However, the guts are disposed of when filleted.


Because shellfish, such as scallops, mussels, soft-shell clams, hard-shell clams, and oysters, feed by filtering microscopic food out of the water, they are prone to contamination.

Moon snails and whelks, that feed off contaminated shellfish, are most likely to accumulate dangerous levels of the toxin during red tide.

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About Tina Hodges
Tina Hodges is a Sebastian native. After graduating from Sebastian River High School, she studied Business Management & Marketing at Indian River State College. Tina worked for Dooney & Bourke for many years before she became our VP of Sales & Marketing & Journalist. Tina joined Sebastian Daily in 2016.