(p. A9) A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist says he believes most of the dead turtles that have been examined since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill died not from the oil or the chemical dispersants put into the water after the disaster, but from being caught in shrimping nets, though further testing may show otherwise.
Dr. Brian Stacy, a veterinary pathologist who specializes in reptiles, said that more than half the turtles dissected so far, most of which were found shortly after the spill, had sediment in their lungs or airways, which indicated they might have been caught in nets and drowned.
“The only plausible scenario where you would have high numbers of animals forcibly submerged would be fishery interaction,” he said. “That is the primary consideration for this event.”
Many times the usual number of turtles have been found stranded this year, but NOAA has cautioned from the beginning that the oil spill is not necessarily to blame.
For the full story, see:
SHAILA DEWAN. “Turtle Deaths Called Result of Shrimping, Not Oil Spill.” The New York Times (Sat., June 26, 2010): A9.
(Note: the online version of the article is dated June 25, 2010.)