Saturday, August 10, 2013


photo: Public Domain / Truncatus

As Dolphin Deaths Rise, U.S. Declares 'Unusual Mortality Event'

Editorial Note January 30, 2015. We still have no reports of a definitive cause of the 2013 die off, nor reports subsequent events of similar magnitude. We continue to suspect a "non point" pollution source. The fact that these events appear to be widely spaced but periodically reoccurring leads us to suspect a relation ship to a weather cycle most probably the drought cycle. If that is th ecase we have no idea if the relevant pathogen responds to the wet or dry side of the cycle or simply might be dependent on the higher run off rate in the wet cycle to carry it far enough to sea to infect the dolphins.   Two years since this event and the cause is still a mystery.
Reuters  |  By Francesca Trianni

"NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Federal scientists investigating an unusually high number of dead bottlenose dolphins washing up on the East Coast said on Thursday the carcasses are showing up at a rate that is seven times higher than usual.

More than 120 dead animals have been discovered since June from New Jersey to Virginia, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service said.

Federal scientists have declared it an "unusual mortality event" and are investigating the cause, said Maggie Mooney-Seus of NOAA Fisheries."

To Read the entire story click on this link:

Editors Note : This is not the first dolphin die off in recent times on the East Coast. Thankfully the last one was quite some time ago allowing some time for population recovery. However when combined with recent reports of dolphin killings along the U.S. Gulf Coasts this year there is reason for concern for Gulf/Atlantic dolphin populations. There is no excuse for the deliberate shooting of dolphins that occurred off the Gulf Coast and a manhunt is justified on the order of effort usually reserved for violent crime against humans. The East Coast die off has caused far more deaths and we suspect that the cause is a virus associated with "non point specific pollution" such as agricultural run off or under treated sewerage along a long stretch of the Atlantic coast. The Lake Pontchartrain Basin  Foundation in Louisiana had a great deal of success in limiting agricultural run off by getting laws passed that required vegetation medians between agricultural fields and streams leading into Lake Pontchartrain. Such medians should be the norm in all coastal zone farming. Coupled with vegetated fence lines these medians actually produce such "farm game" as quail, Pheasant in the cooler climates, doves, and rabbits often generating extra Fall income for Farmers during hunting season. There generally hasn't been a lot of resistance to the concept by family farmers. But the "factory farm" corporate crowd is much slower getting on board. The present die off of dolphins is, in the opinion of our in house experts more likely than not, a  function of accelerated toxic bacteria or viral production fertilized by non specific point pollution and sped up by warm weather. Until we realize that all pollution does not come from factories or sewer outfalls we are only going to see more of this. The solution, vegetated median strips and or wood lots between agricultural fields and streams is inexpensive. We need public understanding to generate the needed legislative action, best undertaken at the state level. As you know we have little belief that the Federal government has been capable of governing for quite some time. 

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