Government Scientists Studying Dolphins Washing Ashore

New Orleans, La. – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is reporting more than 50 dead dolphins have washed ashore. NOAA marine fisheries spokeswoman Connie Barclay says they're being recovered from Louisiana to Florida, and they're young. She says there could be many reasons for the increase, in addition to the BP spill.

"It can be anything from infectious disease to harmful alga blooms or environmental factors like loud sounds or chemicals or something in the water."

Answers will not be known quickly.

"Getting back all of the results from the samples taken during the necropsies will take months, maybe even a year. This takes a long time as the various experts look and examine all these tissues and samples."

Barclay says the peak season for strandings is approaching. Scientists say that so far, dolphins are the only species involved in the sudden increase in deaths.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.