The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is declaring an unusual mortality event for bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico, ranging from Franklin County, Florida to Louisiana.
According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration 261 Dolphins have stranded themselves since February 1st. NOAA is declaring an unusual mortality event for bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico. NOAA's Erin Fougeres does not have a cause for the mortality event but suspects an increase in freshwater may be a contributing factor.
“So there is just a lot of freshwater and low salinity in the area right now so we are seeing a lot of animals with freshwater skin legions and that is one potential contributing factor that were looking into right now,” said Fougeres.
The majority of dolphins were found in Mississippi and Louisiana making up 210 of the 261 dolphins found, raising concerns the release of fresh water from the Bonnet Carre spillway in Mississippi could be a contributing factor to the unusual mortality event. 37 dolphins were found in the Florida panhandle.