Two more dead dolphins bringing the total to 41 found in Lee and Collier counties, Florida, USA
A dead dolphin lies on the beach south of the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club close to Central Avenue in Naples on the morning of Nov. 26, 2018.
Photo courtesy of Colleen Gill
The dolphins found Thursday were seen by a crew from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission conducting an aerial survey of Southwest Florida beaches.
“Their main goal for the survey was to find out if there were any more dolphins they just weren’t seeing or picking up,” Mase said.
The theory is the dolphins were healthy before ingesting fish poisoned by red tide from an offshore bloom, then died because of the exposure, Mase said.
The FWC crew was unable to fly offshore Thursday to look for the suspected red tide bloom because of bad weather, said Allison Garrett, a communications and media relations specialist with NOAA.
The FWC will request another flight and hopes to fly offshore Friday, Garrett said.
In addition to dolphins, Mase said, NOAA has seen other species wash up dead across Southwest Florida over the past week, mostly in Collier County. That included sea turtles, sea birds and a few large fish, such as grouper and tarpon.
Since July, higher-than-normal numbers of bottlenose dolphins have washed ashore dead in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, according to NOAA.
NOAA declared the spate of deaths an “unusual mortality event.”
Including the animals found Thursday, 119 dead dolphins have been seen across the seven counties that are part of the “unusual mortality event” since it began in July, according to NOAA.
Courtesy of eu.naplesnews.com