Locals in Peru have been left confused after just 3,000 dead dolphins washed up on one stretch of Peruvian coastline, according to reports in the country’s media.
Sure, dolphins do wash up on sure all the time, but this number is way above average.
Peruvian biologist Carlos Yaipen of the Scientific organisation for Conservation of Aquatic Animals argues to sonar or acoustic sensing, used to explore for oil, seems to be causing bubbles of nitrogen in the bloodstream and vital organs of aquatic mammals — a condition also known as “the bends” amongst deep sea divers.
However, others argue that it’s not quite that simple.
BPZ Energy told the Environmental Health News that they were not using sonar testing but seismic testing, not linked as easily to the side effects as sonar. There could also be organic pollutants in the water, as has been the case in other mass die-offs of dolphins — and no one seems to knows of any studies.
The website spoke to Peter Ross, a research scientist at Canada’s Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney, British Columbia, who said that In a mass die-off, “there might be a smoking gun, but often we find that it’s two or three or four factors.”
One thing is certain though — with the number of dolphins dead and the fact that the problem is still ongoing, the situation in Peru may result in the biggest dolphin die off ever reported.
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