NOAA: Sea Turtle Strandings, Oil Spill Do Not Appear Linked

Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have been investigating a series of sea turtle strandings that have been reported from Alabama through the Louisiana Delta since April 30, the Deepwater Horizon Joint Information Center reported Wednesday. According to the unified command, careful examination of the dead sea turtles by NOAA scientists suggests that the strandings have no direct correlation to the oil spill.

NOAA has conducted 10 necropsies so far, and the agency's sea turtle coordinator said that none appears to show signs of oil internally or externally. Additional necropsies will be performed, but complete results may take up to several weeks.

According to NOAA, thousands of sea turtle strandings are reported in the Gulf of Mexico this time of year. In addition, it pointed out that
sea turtles can die of natural causes and factors in addition to the leading human causes: fishing nets, shrimp trawls, and vessel strikes.

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