"Oil Spill Not Linked to Gulf Sea Turtle Deaths"

"ROBERT, La. -- Thirty to 50 sea turtles, species unknown, were seen swimming in or near the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, who flew over the spill area on Tuesday.

NOAA is working on a plan to address large numbers of oiled sea turtles, but although there have been 38 sea turtle strandings reported from Alabama through the Louisiana's Mississippi Delta since April 30, NOAA says the turtles did not die from contact with the oil.

Sea turtle stranding responders recovered all but one of the turtles. All those recovered were dead except one, which died shortly thereafter.

Most of the turtles identified so far are endangered juvenile Kemp's ridley turtles. No evidence of oil was found on the beaches where the strandings occurred.

'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."

Environment News Service had the story May 5, 2010.

Thursday, May 6, 2010