Saturday, May 13, 2006

Possible causes of dolphins deaths

Marine scientists in Zanzibar said they were baffled by the mysterious deaths of between 700 and 800 bottlenose dolphins around the Tanzanian archipelago.

The marine mammals stranded themselves on four beaches around semi-autonomous Zanzibar’s main island of Unguja.

Analyses of some of the dead dolphins revealed that their stomachs were all unusually empty, which suggested to scientists that they vomited in a confused or frenzied state.

Mussa Aboud Jumbe, director of the Zanzibar Fisheries Department, said that initial investigation indicated the dolphin deaths were due to “mega sounds” resulting from earthquakes or sonar from warships.

Jumbe theorized that recent seismic activity around Madagascar and East Africa could have disoriented or confused the dolphins.

Quick "Facts about Dolphins"