Sunday, 11 August 2013

Feds declare 'unusual mortality event' as dolphin deaths expand

First Indian River Lagoon bottlenose dolphins, now dolphins as far away as New York are dying of some mysterious ailment.

Federal biologists have opened a formal investigation into an unusually high number of bottlenose dolphins that have died from coastal areas of New York to Virginia over the past several weeks.

NOAA Fisheries declared the “Unusual Mortality Event” after about 100 bottlenose dolphins died in the region this year, most of them in July.

The declaration frees up federal resources for a more in-depth investigation.
Last month, a federal panel made a similar determination, officially declaring the deaths of more than 50 bottlenose dolphins this year in the Indian River Lagoon as unusual.

More than seven times the historical average of bottlenose dolphin died during July in the Mid-Atlantic Region, including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, NOAA officials said.

As with the dolphin deaths in the Brevard County region, all age groups of dolphins have been involved in the Mid-Atlantic deaths and all but a few of the dolphins found have died.

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