Baby Dolphin Deaths Continue Dramatic Climb

At least 77 baby dolphin deaths have now been reported to have washed ashore in the past week.  We reported the dolphin deaths when the news first came to our attention a week ago.  With the report now coming to at least 4 times as many as originally noted, and considering the other factors (such as far more bodies that never made it to shore, offshore species, etc.) we would be amiss not to consider this a disaster, amidst the terrible results of the use of Corexit and BP’s oil spill.

One report states that “the remains of 77 animals – nearly all bottlenose dolphins” were found.  The exceptions are of great concern.  As we mentioned in the previous article on the subject, the ocean is a great scavenger.  Stillborn babies’ bodies wouldn’t be as likely to make it all the way to the Gulf shores from 100+ miles offshore, which means it’s likely there are MANY times that many dolphins dying at or before birth… as if the 77 weren’t enough.

For now, there’s not much we can do but hope that the ocean heals.  But please do make it a point to press the government HARD about prohibiting the use of Corexit in the US ever again.  This deadly chemical is already banned in the UK, has been for  a decade or more.  We must not allow it to be used — BY ANY MEANS — ever again!

2 replies
  1. Shelley Ottenbrite says:

    I was just on Atlantic Beach in Long Island, NY and there was a white pickup truck driving down the sand. I asked a police officer about it and he said baby dolphins are washing up all along the east coast as well. He said they found a three foot aborted dolphin around Bayside.

  2. Cheryl M. McCormk says:

    As you now know, the latest coming from NOAA is that all confirmed deaths are bottlenose dolphins. While it does seem logical that deaths would occur offshore, those bodies may be irretrievable – water temperature is warm and consequently decomposition is accelerated, and there are a lot of predators in this ecosystem that would dispatch a carcass well in advance of it arriving at a location where it could be discovered. It’s a reasonable assumption that many more deaths are occurring that cannot be estimated. Confirmed dolphin deaths in 2010 in the Gulf area was 89; most adults.

    I agree with you in that, as concerned citizens, we must ensure that our elected officials are made aware of our concerns about the use of Corexit, and that the use of this dispersant is unacceptable – in sensitive habitats – or anywhere. Additionally, we should demand that NOAA/BP test results for dolphin deaths in 2010, and the results of testing for the 2011 “unusual mortality event” be made public.

    In addition to contacting state senators and representatives, I would highly encourage your readers to contact John H. Hankinson, Jr., Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (EPA) at: gulfcoasttaskforce@epa.gov.

    Thank you, John, for making people aware of what’s going on in the Gulf, and for reminding us that as concerned citizens and members of organizations – we have a right and a responsibility to speak up.

    Cheryl McCormick
    Executive Director
    American Cetacean Society


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