Thousands of Dolphins Dying in Gulf of Mexico
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 according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 714 dolphins and other cetaceans have been reported as washed up on the coast from the Louisiana/Texas border through Franklin County, Florida between February 2010 and April 1, 2012. NOAA biologists believe that 714 represents only a fraction of the actual death count, declaring 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.