Another study has been released confirming that the 2010 oil spill is responsible for the increase in dolphin deaths in the Gulf. U.S. scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have confirmed that dolphins suffering from lung disease, hormonal abnormalities, and other health issues are consistent with exposure to oil.
Lori Schwake, lead author of the study says this: “I’ve never seen such high prevalence of very sick animals—and with unusual conditions such as the adrenal hormone abnormalities.” While BP funded the study, it is still disputing the correlation and denies the effects the oil has had and continues to have on these dolphins. Schwake explains how she experienced, first hand, dolphins swimming in and out of oil slicks, breathing at the surface that contained hydrocarbons, and eating food that was contaminated. Not only are these creatures facing a shorter and less functional lifespan, they are far more likely to not reproduce, diminishing the population overall.
Scientists, environmentalists, and consumer activists are dismayed, to say the least, with BP’s inability to accept responsibility for the consequences they have caused here. BP continues to focus on deterring possible claimants who were economically impacted by the oil spill from filing their claim.