Friday, May 7, 2010

No link found between sea turtle deaths and oil spill

NEW ORLEANS (AFP) – Dozens of stranded sea turtles have been located on the Gulf Coast, but scientists have found no evidence so far that their deaths are linked to the oil spill, officials said Wednesday.

Thirty-eight turtles have been found from Alabama to the Louisiana delta since April 30, officials from the US oceans and weather agency NOAA said in a statement. Most of them are endangered juvenile Kemp?s ridley turtles.

All but one of the turtles have been recovered. Of those recovered, all were dead when found and the one that was not died shortly afterward, the statement said.

"Based on careful examination, NOAA scientists do not believe that these sea turtle strandings are related to the oil spill," said Barbara Schroeder, NOAA national sea turtle coordinator.

Ten necropsies have been conducted so far and none showed evidence of oil either externally or internally, said Schroeder.

Thousands of sea turtles strandings are reported each year in the Gulf of Mexico. There has been an increase in the number during the current season in recent years and NOAA is researching why, it said

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