Gulf of mexico dead zone – (pre-katrina) – 08/11/2005

  • October 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm #870

    Gulf of Mexico mystery
    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    Scientists are worried Siratti Sam could also become a casualty.
    About 20 dead sea turtles have washed ashore in Pinellas County in
    the past three days, an extremely high number that has doctors and
    scientists puzzled.

    One of the two survivors that’s being kept at the Clearwater Marine
    Aquarium is a large, loggerhead turtle named Siratti Sam.

    “I still don’t know if he’ll make it,” said Dr. Janine
    Cianciolo. “It’s little movements. Yesterday, he wasn’t moving at
    all. [He’s] still not in water because he’s not keeping his head
    above water for long enough periods of time.”

    It’s not clear why the various kinds of sea turtles are washing

    “It may or may not be associated with red tide,” said
    Cianciolo. “They tend to show symptoms of what’s called a red tide
    intoxication, but you have to take a lot of samples and they must go
    through testing to actually determine that.”

    Dive instructor Michael Miller took underwater video to try to figure
    out the mystery.

    “Right now, anywhere we go from shore to 20 miles offshore, from
    Sarasota to Tarpon Springs, we can’t find a single creature alive on
    the bottom right now,” said Miller.

    Miller says he’s never seen such death and devastation under water in
    his 20 years of diving.

    “All the coral, all the sponges, all the crabs, not a single living
    thing, all the star fish, the brittle stars, everything’s dead,” said

    The sea turtles that died are being preserved with ice at the
    aquarium, where a necropsy will be performed in hopes it will provide
    some clues as to what’s lurking in the waters of the gulf.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission scientists will
    ultimately decide whether red tide is causing the sea turtles to die.
    The results from the test could take anywhere from a couple of days
    to a couple of weeks.

    If you see a dead or injured sea turtle, call the 24-hour stranded
    sea turtle hotline at 727-441-1790. You’ll be asked to leave a
    message with a phone number so rescuers can respond to the
    appropriate location.

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