What’s Killing the Dolphins?


Something is killing this year’s newborn dolphins, and BP’s oil spill is the primary suspect.

The Biloxi Sun Herald, in a story being carried nationally by the McClatchy news service, reports that “…17 young dolphins, either aborted before they reached maturity or dead soon after birth, have been collected along the shorelines.”

A normal number of deaths would be two or three, wildlife officials told the paper.

The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies is doing necropsies (i.e., animal autopsies) on two of the baby dolphins. Moby Solangi, director of the institute, called the death toll an “anomaly” and told the Sun Herald that its significant, especially in light of the BP oil spill.

This is the latest sad piece of news in a series of revelations that has sent the “Mission Accomplished” crowd reeling. The bad news has been relentless: Dead infant dolphins washing ashore; cleanup workers becoming dangerously sick; oil coating the Gulf floor; “magic microbes” losing their “rock star” status as massive pockets of methane are found; more and more people doubting the all-clear on seafood and a federal court considering taking over the claims payment process. And all of this troubling news coming as we approach the one-year anniversary of the spill – when many will realize just how far we have to go in putting this disaster behind us.

Here’s the dolphin story, with a warning that the video may not be appropriate for some animal lovers: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/02/21/109128/infant-dolphin-deaths-spiking.html

And here is a link to the Sun Herald article: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/02/20/2881134/baby-dolphin-deaths-spike-on-gulf.html#ixzz1EgbmUIM2

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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