Scientists Ordered Not to Talk about Dophin Deaths in the Gulf of Mexico

From Huffpo Green, via National Wildlife blog:

BILOXI, Mississippi — The U.S. government is keeping a tight lid on its probe into scores of unexplained dolphin deaths along the Gulf Coast, possibly connected to last year’s BP oil spill, causing tension with some independent marine scientists.

Wildlife biologists contracted by the National Marine Fisheries Service to document spikes in dolphin mortality and to collect specimens and tissue samples for the agency were quietly ordered late last month to keep their findings confidential.

The gag order was contained in an agency letter informing outside scientists that its review of the dolphin die-off, classified as an “unusual mortality event (UME),” had been folded into a federal criminal investigation launched last summer into the oil spill.

A number of scientists said they have been personally rebuked by federal officials for “speaking out of turn” to the media about efforts to determine the cause of some 200 dolphin deaths this year, and about 90 others last year, in the Gulf.

On top of that, scientists are being kept in the dark about results of tests on the specimens they have collected and given to the government. That can’t be a good thing.

This is an open thread.

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5 Comments on “Scientists Ordered Not to Talk about Dophin Deaths in the Gulf of Mexico”

  1. Joanelle says:

    Oh brother – another species we’ve defiled!

  2. dakinikat says:

    We kept seeing this on TV and then all of the sudden, we stopped hearing about it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      On google, the links about it stop in mid-to-late February.

      • dakinikat says:

        I figured something was up. The seafood industry was part of the shut down too. They’re bribing people to say anything positive about things. I’m still not eating seafood from the Gulf. I just don’t trust it at all.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        A friend of mine is married to a guy who was flying helicopters for the scientist during the actual spill. She said that BP had gotten the Gov. to make the area a No fly zone and only allow the helicopters to fly 2 hours a day. She said that the scientist were counting the dead animals. That BP was fined so much for each dead pelican, dolphin etc. And that keeping the flying time down to 2 hours a day, BP was able to dispose of any dead animals and get away with it.