Scientists Probe Cause for Dead Gulf Dolphins

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Published 12 Apr 2011
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It’s been nearly a year since the BP oil spill, and scientists say dolphins are still washing up dead on the Gulf of Mexico shore in abnormally large numbers -- some covered in oil. Now experts determined the oil belongs to BP, but say the specific cause of a death is still a mystery.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, says more than 400 dolphins have been found stranded or dead in the last 14 months. CNN reports 15 of those dolphins were covered in oil. (Video: NBC)

“Even after the gushing well was capped, the agency said nine oiled dolphins have been found since November 2, 2010. Of those nine, six were confirmed to contain oil from the incident; one was found with oil that did not match the Deepwater Horizon samples, and two have not yet been tested.”

A BP spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal...

“...the oil company is aware of the washed-up dolphins and wants ‘to help in any way we can so the data is thoroughly analyzed to see if a cause can be determined.’”

But after months of what the International Business Times calls a cover-up, the paper questions the legitimacy of the reports.

“Reuters reported last month that the National Marine Fisheries Service had ordered officials...not to reveal their findings to media or outsiders … Scientists are agitated over the federal agency's refusal to allow transparency in its work on dolphin deaths in the Gulf Coast.”

And finally, NOAA official Blair Mase told the Sarasota Harold Tribune that even though BP looks to be at fault, the investigation isn’t over.

“‘What's important to note is that even though they have this oil on them, it may not be the cause of death.’”
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