WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Hundreds of dolphins were found dead and washed up along the U.S. Gulf Coast in recent months, an incident called “unusual mortality event” by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- It is suspected that the 2010 BP oil spill lingering effects, caused by the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, caused the marine deaths.
- Scientists investigate further possible cause of the stranding like low salinity.
Officials said on Friday that more than 261 bottlenose dolphins were stranded in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and The Florida Panhandle. That is about three times higher than usual.
In Alaska, 60 seals were also reported dead.
These deaths were so strange it’s deemed an “unusual mortality event” by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is defined as “a stranding that is unexpected; involves a significant die-off of any marine mammal population; and demands immediate response.”
“Stranding” is when a sea turtle or sea mammal is seen dead on the shore or floating near alive but cannot get back to the ocean due to sickness or it needs help.
The bodies of the dolphins recovered have already decomposed making it hard to examine the cause of death.
Scientists are now investigating the possible causes of this phenomenon. One potential cause is the lingering effects of the 2010 BP oil spill — the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
According to reports, the oil spill contributed to the largest and longest dolphin die-off in the Gulf of Mexico. Reportedly, the oil spill causes health problems that affect the lungs and adrenal glands, which produce stress-related hormones; blood abnormalities; and general poor condition.
“We do know some of the health conditions … are improving, but some have been slow to improve. Reproduction in the heaviest-oiled areas continues below normal.” Teri Rowles, coordinator for NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, told The Associated Press.
The scientists will also investigate if the effects of low salinity because of freshwater coming from high rivers and the spillway in Louisiana, bring about the deaths of the dolphins.
Source: Fox News