Dead marine animals being tested; Oil not suspected as killer - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Dead marine animals being tested; Oil not suspected as killer

(Photo source: Michelle Allee) (Photo source: Michelle Allee)
(Photo source: Dustin Parker) (Photo source: Dustin Parker)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Dr. Moby Solangi with the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) said reports of dead marine life have slowed down some in the last few days. But WLOX viewers continue to send in pictures from all across the coast.

Michelle Allee sent us a shot of a dead turtle that washed up in Pass Christian Tuesday morning near Menge Avenue.

IMMS is testing 60 dead sea turtles that have washed up along the Gulf shoreline in the last three weeks. Most of those turtles are the endangered Kemps Ridley Sea Turtles.

Dustin Parker took a photo of the dead fish floating in Bayou Chico next to the Pascagoula Yacht Club. The pictures are alarming, but officials with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality cautioned Monday that the fish they've tested have not been killed by oil. Rather, a lack of oxygen in the water is to blame.

DEQ executive Trudy Fisher said low oxygen levels are common this time of year due to spikes in the temperature.

Dr. Moby Solangi's team picked up a dead dolphin Monday on the north side of Horn Island. Solangi believes it had been dead for a week or two. Test are being done to determine exactly what caused the animal's death, but Solangi said it did not appear oil related.

Six other dolphins found from Louisiana to Alabama are also being tested, but show no obvious signs that the Gulf oil leak was to blame.

Blair Mase of the National Marine Fisheries Service said Tuesday it's common for dead dolphins to wash up this time of year when they are in shallow waters to calve.

The Associated Press found dolphins swimming and playing in oily waters off Louisiana last week.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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