Number of dolphin deaths triple in Gulf of Mexico

17 June, 2019, 20:11 | Author: Darnell Taylor
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NOAA says these dolphin strandings occurred from Franklin County through Louisiana and are three times the historical average.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed that 98% of the dolphins were dead.

A MS scientist says the spillway opening is at least partly to blame for 126 deaths across Mississippi's coastline. NOAA has declared an "Unusual Mortality Event" to bring marine biologists and government agencies together.

2019 bottlenose dolphin stranding locations by month along the northern Gulf of Mexico.

A total of 261 bottlenose dolphins were found stranded between Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle, officials said.

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May 2019 went down as the wettest on record for Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri, and Oklahoma recorded its second wettest May ever, which sparked a lot of flooding especially for the Mississippi River. 37 dolphins were found in the Florida panhandle.

"Some of the dolphins have had freshwater skin lesions that are common with freshwater exposure", she said. NOAA defines UME as a stranding that is unexpected.

"We are seeing higher numbers in MS and Louisiana and we are concerned about fresh water", Fougères said.

Numerous dolphin carcasses are already very decomposed, which is making it hard for experts to take samples to determine the creatures' cause of death.

People are reminded not to try and push the animal back to the sea as this may delay rescue and treatment efforts, and the creatures may just come back to the shore in even worse conditions. Use wet towels to help keep the skin moist and prevent sunburn; however, don't cover or obstruct the blowhole. Sightings can be reported to the U.S. Coastguard, the Southeast Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 877-WHALE HELP, or via the Dolphin and Whale 911 app.

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