Dolphins Dying Off Florida Coast
Discovery Earth Alert, Jan. 4, 2000
Wildlife officials are becoming increasingly alarmed over the number of dolphins washing up on the shores of northwest Florida. Over the weekend, three dolphin carcasses a day were found on the shores of Fort Walton Beach on Choctawhatchee Bay. Throughout December, rescuers reported finding a dead dolphin a day on average. Officials say that various forms of sickness had been ruled out because the dolphins appeared to have been healthy before they died. George Gray, coordinator for a Fort Walton Beach wildlife rescue group, said that most of the dead dolphins were full-grown with stomachs full of fish, and many of the females were pregnant. Laboratory tests targeting an outbreak of red tide as the culprit are pending. In large doses, the algae can be deadly to sealife and poisonous to humans. A red tide outbreak in late summer at Fort Walton Beach killed thousands of fish, but no dolphins.
Dolphins Wash Ashore in Florida Keys
Yahoo News, Reuters, Jan. 17, 2000
An estimated 75 to 100 bottlenose dolphins have beached themselves along jagged shores in the Florida Keys and as many as 25 have died, marine police said on Monday. Some dolphins were injured by rocks and sharp coral as they came ashore overnight along Long Key or thrashed in shallow waters, wildlife officials said. Other strandings involving fewer dolphins had been reported at two other spots in the Keys, a string of narrow islands south of Miami, according to spokesman Stephen Acton of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. No cause for the beachings, similar to one involving more than 100 dolphins in 1999, had been determined. A cause was not likely to be uncovered until detailed physical examinations now underway on some dead animals had been completed, Acton said. Bottlenosed dolphins normally live 40 miles (65 km) or more offshore but have been known to head for the coast when one or more in a group falls ill.
Dozens of Commerson's dolphins found dead in Patagonia
DolphinDreamsUK News. January 27, 2000
56 Commerson's dolphins have been found dead at Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz Province, Patagonia. Fundacion Cethus, an Argentine cetacean organisation funded by WDCS, is currently at the scene investigating possible causes of death. Cethus has been studying these dolphins at Rio Gallegos and other locations in southern Patagonia for several years. Photo-id studies suggest that the Rio Gallegos population is very small (possibly in the dozens), so the loss of any individuals is a serious matter. Females typically give birth between December and February, so the timing of this tragedy couldn¹t have been worse.
Details of Cetacean Deaths in France
DolphinDreamsUK News, February, 2000
A report from Eric Poncelet of the Centre de Recherche sur les Mammifères Marins (CRMM) in La Rochelle, France states that around 350 cetaceans were found dead stranded since the beginning of 2000. The stranding rate drastically increased on 10 Feb 2000. Some dead animals may still reach the coast, but to a lesser extent. By order of decreasing frequency, the species are: common dolphin (96%), harbour porpoise, long-finned pilot whale, striped dolphin and bottlenose dolphin. Among the 94 whales examined by the CRMM staff, 80% had bycatch marks. This doesn't mean that all these died in the nets, some may be dead when bycaught. No virologic examination has been carried out. However, as a whole, the animals that could be necropsied seemed to be healthy (good blubber thickness and corpulence, full stomach).