Sixty-seven bottlenose dolphins have washed up on the Gulf of Mexico beaches over the past few weeks. More than half, 35, are babies. That is 10 times the normal rate.
This is the first calving season since the Gulf Oil Spill for the estimated 2,000-5,000 dolphins in the region. During this time period normally just one or two dead baby dolphins are found.
Dolphins have an 11- or 12-month gestation period. These dead baby dolphins were conceived just before the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig leased by BP blew up April 20, triggering a massive oil spill. "So, these animals were undergoing development during the height of the oil spill," says Teri Rowles, the top marine mammal scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Charge BP with animal cruelty, or environment crimes, at least. Their quest for profit has killed thousands of animals, in the air, land and sea. It is criminal that their business has destroyed an American ecosystem. It is at least harrassment that dolphins cannot breed normally and are protected under the Marine Protection Act.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D, Administrator
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
NOAA Fisheries Service
Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement
8484 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910