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55132 08-11-2005 08:15 PM

Gulf of Mexico mystery
 
Look whats happening in gulf of mexico
And hardly no one is talking about it.
http://www.baynews9.com/content/36/2005/8/10/112685.html

Gulf of Mexico mystery
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Scientists are worried Siratti Sam could also become a casualty.
About 20 dead sea turtles have washed ashore in Pinellas County in the past three days, an extremely high number that has doctors and scientists puzzled.

One of the two survivors that's being kept at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a large, loggerhead turtle named Siratti Sam.

"I still don't know if he'll make it," said Dr. Janine Cianciolo. "It's little movements. Yesterday, he wasn't moving at all. [He's] still not in water because he's not keeping his head above water for long enough periods of time."

It's not clear why the various kinds of sea turtles are washing ashore.

"It may or may not be associated with red tide," said Cianciolo. "They tend to show symptoms of what's called a red tide intoxication, but you have to take a lot of samples and they must go through testing to actually determine that."

Dive instructor Michael Miller took underwater video to try to figure out the mystery.

"Right now, anywhere we go from shore to 20 miles offshore, from Sarasota to Tarpon Springs, we can't find a single creature alive on the bottom right now," said Miller.

Miller says he's never seen such death and devastation under water in his 20 years of diving.

"All the coral, all the sponges, all the crabs, not a single living thing, all the star fish, the brittle stars, everything's dead," said Miller.
Click here for an enlarged image of more dead sea life.


The sea turtles that died are being preserved with ice at the aquarium, where a necropsy will be performed in hopes it will provide some clues as to what's lurking in the waters of the gulf.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission scientists will ultimately decide whether red tide is causing the sea turtles to die. The results from the test could take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

If you see a dead or injured sea turtle, call the 24-hour stranded sea turtle hotline at 727-441-1790. You'll be asked to leave a message with a phone number so rescuers can respond to the appropriate location.


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