Death Toll Rises for Sea Turtles in the Gulf of Mexico

By June 2, 2010Sea Turtles

Today at least 222 sea turtles have been reported dead in the wake of the catastrophic oil spill, and dozens more are being rescued and rehabilitated daily. Concrete evidence of massive underwater oil plumes from two universities mean an even greater threat to all sea turtles from oil in the Gulf.

“BP’s cover-up of the true magnitude of the oil spill likely reaches into many other aspects of the disaster, including deaths to sea turtles. Sea turtles impacted by oil are lucky to make it shore, and many are likely dying at sea.” says environmental toxicologist Dr. Chris Pincetich.

Scientist with experience on the Exxon Valdez spill confirmed that many dead animals sink in the ocean and only a fraction of the deaths could be recorded.

The Gulf of Mexico summers are characterized by hurricanes and declining water quality resulting in huge biological “dead zones” from nutrient inputs into the ocean. If these common conditions combine with the growing oil spill, the chances of survival for any marine life is sure to decrease, and hatchling sea turtles will be especially vulnerable.