Alarming deaths of dolphins along the Atlantic Coast

Common Dreams – U.S. STATES along the Atlantic coast are witnessing an “alarming” trend of dead dolphins washing up on their shores.

Virginia has had 100 dolphin carcasses on its shores this year.  Twenty-five dead or dying bottlenose dolphins have washed up on New Jersey shores since July 9, while Maryland and Delaware have seen several dead dolphins on its shores this summer. And in July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries declared an Unusual Mortality Event for bottlenose dolphins in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon, where 50 dead dolphins have been found, a number three times the historical average.

Scientists aren’t sure what’s causing the deaths at this piont, though Susan Barco, research coordinator for the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, said the strandings are “eerily familiar” to mass die-off of dolphins in 1987 when the measles-like morbillivirus brought 750 dolphin carcases to shores between New Jersey and Florida.

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