In the wild, many marine mammals are at risk from human influences
BY SALLY KESTIN
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
24th May 2004
The carcasses of more than 120 bottlenose dolphins washed up along the shores of the Florida Panhandle last month, the victims of what scientists suspect was a red tide outbreak and environmentalists blame on run-off from development.
From pollution to hunting and fishing, marine mammals in the wild die by the thousands from contact with humans.
Scientists suspect the recent dolphin die-off in the Panhandle resulted from high levels of a toxin associated with red tide, but they disagree about what causes the deadly algal blooms. Some say red tide is naturally occurring; others agree with environmental groups that pollution can trigger it.