Signs of Horrors to Come?
In the latest of repercussions from the BP debacle in the Gulf of Mexico, we got word of baby dolphins washing up dead on the shores Mississippi and Alabama — at ten times the normal rate of stillborn mortality. The Sun Herald reports that 17 babies less than 3 feet in length have been found, premature or stillborn. Unfortunately, that’s only part of the story. The ocean recycles very efficiently; many more dead babies likely never made it to the shore. This being the first of the babies to be born since the spill, we have no real idea how far-reaching the devastation may be.
Dr. Moby Solangi, director of the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies, confirmed that the death rate is highly abnormal, and informs that it appears that most were born premature. Some were aborted at that time, others were stillborn. Other points made are that some of the bruising that might have made it appear to be trauma was likely from the mothers trying to push the babies to the surface and get them to breathe.
It is not uncommon to sight one, maybe two stillborn dolphins a year. That there have been a score found on shore already is pretty solid proof that this is a significant anomaly. It may also be a warning that we, too, are at risk from the oil and Corexit. Just because we don’t live IN the water doesn’t mean it’s not affecting us as well.
Remember: As go the oceans, so go we all. What happens in the Gulf effects every one of us, eventually. Please support efforts to ban the use of Corexit in the States and abroad, as has already been successfully done in the UK a decade ago.
As the dolphin families mourn the loss of their infant children, we mourn their loss as our own, and hope that the ocean is able to recover soon from the horrors we have released upon it.