Baby dolphins dying along oil-soaked US Gulf Coast
Gulfport, Mississippi (AFP) Feb 22, 2011
Baby dolphins are washing up dead along the oil-soaked US Gulf Coast at more than 10 times the normal rate in the first birthing season since the BP disaster, researchers said.
Some 17 baby dolphin corpses have been found along the shorelines of Alabama and Mississippi in the past two weeks, The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies said.
"The average is one or two a month. This year we have 17, and February isn't even over yet," said Moby Solangi, director of the Gulfport, Mississippi-based institute.
"For some reason, they've started aborting or they were dead before they were born."
Solangi is awaiting results from a necropsy performed on two of the dolphins Monday to determine a cause of death.
But he called the high numbers an anomaly and said the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which unleashed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over three months, likely played a role.
Adult dolphin deaths tripled last year to 89 from a norm of about 30.
"We shouldn't really jump to any conclusions until we get some results," Solangi said. "But this is more than just a coincidence."
Dolphins breed in the spring -- around the time of the April 20 explosion that brought down the BP-leased drilling rig -- and carry their young for 11 to 12 months.
Birthing season goes into full swing in March and April.
The oil from the spill spread through the water column in massive underwater plumes and also worked its way into the bays and shallow waters where dolphins breed and give birth.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up
Ajka, Hungary (SPX) Feb 21, 2011
On October 4, 2010, following the burst of a containment structure operated by an alumina plant in Ajka, Hungary, about 700,000 m3 of highly caustic red mud slurry flooded three settlements and about 40 km2 of agricultural area along the Torna stream and the Marcal river (Supporting Information Figure SI 1). The spill caused the death of 10 persons (some of whom drowned and some who suffered sev ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|