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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dozens of dead marine mammals, turtles in Gulf this year, NOAA says

Reports of dozens of stranded dolphins, whales, and sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico continue to pile up in the first two months of 2012, with federal officials tallying 48 marine mammals, mostly dolphins, and 87 sea turtles. Only a handful of marine mammal strandings were of live animals that may have been saved. None of the turtles were alive.

There continues to be concern that the high numbers of dead animals, especially the dolphins and whales, may be linked in some way to health problems either caused or exacerbated by toxic chemicals left behind by the BP Gulf oil spill.
The new tally comes as BP prepares to defend itself in federal court against charges it violated the Oil Pollution Act and the Clean Water Act.

In October, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists announced that tests on five of 21 bottlenose dolphins found dead in Louisiana waters or stranded on beaches since February 2010 showed they were infected with brucellosis, a bacterial infection more often linked to death of cattle, bison and elk in the United States. Read More