Large numbers of bottlenose dolphins have been washing up on the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to theverge.com. It was the largest spill to take place in US waters. The dolphins actually started washing up in elevated levels two months before the spill, potentially because of a cold winter.
“The evidence to date indicates that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused the adrenal and lung lesions that contributed to the deaths of this unusual mortality event,” said Stephanie Venn-Watson, a researcher with the National Marine Mammal Foundation who was the lead author of the report, writes the New York Times.
“We reached that conclusion based on the accumulation of our studies including this paper,” she added.
The deaths have continued into 2015.
In the latest study, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration point to serious health issues in washed-up dolphins that are linked to petroleum product exposure, strengthening the link between dolphins’ deaths and the BP-owned well’s spill, writes theverge.com.