Tuesday, April 3, 2012
THOUSANDS OF DOLPHINS DYING IN GULF WATERS
The dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico are in the midst of a massive die-off. The reasons why remain a complicated and mysterious mix of oil, bacteria, and the unknown.
Normally an average of 74 dolphins are stranded on the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico each year, especially during the spring birthing season. But between February 2010 and April 1, 2012, 714 dolphins and other cetaceans have been reported as washed up on the coast from the Louisiana/Texas border through Franklin County, Florida, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 95 percent of the mammals were dead.
Since many of the dead dolphins sink, decompose or are eaten by scavengers before washing up, NOAA biologists believe that 714 represents only a fraction of the actually death count. NOAA declared the die-off an “Unusual Mortality Event” as per the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.
Although the timing of die-off largely coincides with BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its aftermath, the deaths actually started increasing about two months before the April 20, 2010 explosion which started the months long oil spill.
Before the spill, 112 dolphins had already been reported stranded on the shore.
Please read more of the story at the link and be sure to forward: