PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – (AP) — The death toll among wild dolphins
in the Florida Panhandle climbed to 90 Wednesday, and two more
captive dolphins got sick at Gulf World Marine Park, where a pair of
the marine mammals died last week.
Tissue analysis of bottlenose dolphins that died in the wild indicate
they had been exposed to red tide, but more tests are pending to
determine if that’s what killed them, said Blair Mase, Southeast
stranding coordinator for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
The analysis also detected domoic acid, another naturally occurring
toxin, but one common to California waters, Mase said.
Gulf World also is awaiting pathology test results to determine
whether the dolphin deaths at the marine park here can be linked to
the others that began March 10 in St. Joseph’s Bay near Port St. Joe
and the Gulf of Mexico from there west to Panama City Beach.
”We do take water in from the gulf,” said Gulf World co-owner Ron
My personal opinion is that they are not related.”
Red tide is a higher-than-normal concentration of algae that can kill
marine life while causing respiratory problems for people.