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Gulf oil spill: 23 dead sea turtles wash ashore in Mississippi

endangered speciesgulf of mexicooil spillturtles
The carcasses of 23 sea turtles have been found along Mississippi's 70 miles of coastline, and have been retrieved for examination by the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, said Moby Solangi, the group’s president and executive director.

The carcasses were placed in garbage bags that were stacking up in the institute’s necropsy lab refrigerator unit. 

Although this is the time of year when dead turtles are often found on the beach, scientists say the number is more than double what they would expect. Necropsies will be conducted Monday afternoon by a team of four veterinarians. It’s unclear whether the deaths are related to the oil spill, which is still offshore. 

“This is the stranding season for sea turtles, but the numbers we are seeing are unusually high. It could be the result of heightened awareness and reporting, but they may also have been affected by the slick and floated this way,” Solangi said.

All of the turtles that have washed ashore are threatened and endangered species, and include loggerhead, Kemp's ridley and green sea turtles.

The institute was stocking up on medications, antibiotics and detergents in preparation for what Solangi said could be an overwhelming demand for services.

The institute is the only facility designed to receive and rehabilitate stricken sea turtles and marine mammals along the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines.

A similar rash of dead sea turtles has been reported in Texas, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, on the Alabama coastline, volunteers were cleaning trash from beaches in preparation for possible oil spill cleanup efforts.

-- Louis Sahagun

Caption: Megan Broadway picks up a dead turtle. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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that is so sad :(

aweeee they r so cute. i hate to see them dead <3 ♥

i agree its not a spill it a plum a spill is taking a cup of oil and dumping its all so sad to realize thaty many people are losing there jobs to and dose BP care no they dont and it makes ne very angry and sea turtls are cute i have some and it just amazing to watch them i say. im 13 years old but i am very political and care about the earth and think everyone should have a voice to have a say in the world i even made a website about the oil spill please join it if you care go to members and enter in your info and become apart of my website and raise awareness.

because of the oil spill, there are no commerical fishing boats anymore,,,

this is soooo sad!i am 13 and i really care about are earth>>>>>we should try to stop globel warming and save are earth...use a towel instead of a blow dreyer and ... REYCLE

@Jeffers: only a bit of supposition on your part huh? Check out the TPWD data on the comparison trawls when the TEDs were introduced. No variance in catch rates in species. Therefore there is no motivation to remove them. The fisherman know this and they dont break the law. Your ignorance shows.

@Moffit: You are correct. We spent alot of time collecting them this winter in Texas and warming them up. The cold stunned animals all make recoveries. Im just saddened by the complete loss of all my palm trees!

@barbie: The world is not ending. The sky is not falling.

People, the fishermen are removing the turtle exluder devices (TED's) in a last effort to rape the water before the plume closure. These TEDs are in place to ensure the survival of the turtles but it makes the nets less effective. The fishermen are breaking the law and fear no reprisal whatsoever because of the crisis. These animals drowned in nets they could not get out of. Screw the fishermen.

That is so sad I can't believe how many turtles are paying for this. I love marine life so it breaks my heart when I see animals die.

Disgusting and sad and overwhelming the natural and unnatural events that are happening on our planet right now.

The cold snap this January caused the highest number of sea turtle stranding ever seen in the Gulf States - (5000 in Florida alone with some 1000 thought to have died.) Turtles that survived the cold snap were and are still at great risk of infection (cold -hypothermic stunned and compromised immune system). Most turtles at risk are sub adults (pay attention to the photos) It should not surprise any legitimate researcher that we are seeing increased numbers of dead turtles. Texas had an abnormally high number of turtles wash up in April with 30 found just south of Galveston. Doubtful? Simply search the web for cold snap and sea turtles. Somebody needs to ask Dr. Solangi why he failed to mention this fact.
We do turtles and turtle restoration no favor by distorting the facts.

They will be washing up here soon (im in pensacola, fl)

Please stop calling it a spill. It is a PLUME. So call it the GULF OIL PLUME. It is not a spill, a spill would be fixed in size.

So at the top of this story, there's an ad for NASCAR and Johnson's #48 car spinning tires. Just a bit ironic, but doesn't it just say it all?

Please be careful with cause and effect claims. 23 sea turtles on 70 miles of coast means nothing without context. See this news story:
According to the above 30 sea turtles washed up on the much smaller Galveston's beaches in April -having apparently nothing to do with this spill

This is the time of year that sea turtles come to shore and are hit by boats and increased mortality by commercial fishing nets. There is also some element of natural and disease mortality . What is a "normal" amount of turtles washing ashore- we don't know that either- but we do know that when there is public attention -as with this spill- more will be reported -even if more are not dieing. Without information one could claim that the oil spill is saving sea turtles because it has temporarily closed commercial fishing.

This spill has sufficient concerns without embellishment. Unsupported stories such as this cause the waste of resources and attention during a crisis. Lets stay focused on what we know or at least put things in context

thats soooo sad ....i wudd of cried my eyes out... the world iz comming to a end


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