“Manatees Dying in Droves on Both Coasts of Florida” — Deaths of pelicans, turtles, dolphins also increasing — “Scientists fear this is the beginning of a devastating ecosystem collapse”

Published: March 29th, 2013 at 10:56 am ET


Wired: Manatees Dying in Droves on Both Coasts of Florida […] Large numbers of manatees are dying on both coasts of Florida […] In the southwest, a persistent red tide in the Gulf of Mexico has killed nearly 200 manatees this year. […] In the east, near Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic Ocean, manatees are also dying. But there the cause is unknown. “There are indications of the animals being otherwise completely healthy — but having died of shock and drowning,” said marine mammal biologist Ann Spellman, with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state agency tasked with the investigation. […]

Tampa Bay Times: Even as a Red Tide algae bloom is wiping out a record number of manatees in southwest Florida, a mysterious ailment is killing dozens more manatees on the state’s east coast. So far, state biologists have been unable to pinpoint the cause. […] There is no Red Tide bloom on the east coast, and the winter has not been cold enough to kill manatees. […] Last week they announced that, since the start of 2013, more than 100 brown pelicans have been found dead in that same area of Brevard County. […] Officials said one of the manatees is a calf suffering from cold stress and had cold-water lesions all over its body. […]

Environmental Protection: At the [156-mile long] Indian River Lagoon in Florida, several manatees and pelicans have been found dead, most likely due to the algae blooms that are quickly invading the area. With the deaths of these animals, scientists fear this is the beginning of a devastating ecosystem collapse. […] Investigators believe that manatees are eating gracilaria, a red-colored alga, because of the seagrass shortage and because the dead manatees’ stomachs are full of it. Gracilaria isn’t known to be toxic, but scientists are trying to find whether some type of toxin is at work. […] “Because of what’s going on with manatees, we’re on alert,” Megan Stolen, a scientist at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, said, according to Spear’s article, which said the institute documented five dolphin deaths in February, up from the month’s average of 2.3 deaths. […]

WBBH: […] Red tide is also now the suspected cause of death of sea turtles in Southwest Florida. So far this year, 13 dead sea turtles have been reported dead. That’s compared to just 2 sea turtle deaths at this time last year. […] Barnacles covered her shell and she seemed underweight; but researchers we spoke with say this many sea turtles shouldn’t be dying. “When I get that call, I just say, ‘Oh no not another one.’ […] said Eve Haverfield, with Turtle Time Inc. […]

Sun-Sentinel: […] In just the first three months of this year, 409 manatees died in Florida waters, compared with 115 in the same period last year. The total number of deaths last year in Florida was 392. […]

Published: March 29th, 2013 at 10:56 am ET


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54 comments to “Manatees Dying in Droves on Both Coasts of Florida” — Deaths of pelicans, turtles, dolphins also increasing — “Scientists fear this is the beginning of a devastating ecosystem collapse”

  • Well, it's not very scientific to jump to conclusions, but it is very scientific to at least form a hypothesis and attempt to prove it:

    Fukushima radiation plumes have now struck the Carolinas and Florida, say reports
    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer


    Scientific Method
    1. Ask a Question
    2. Do Background Research
    3. Construct a Hypothesis
    4. Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
    5. Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
    6. Communicate Your Results

    At least, that's what they told us in First Year physics and Einstein among others used the same technique, complete with "thought-experiments".

    • m a x l i

      You forgot the very first step of scientific work. You will need equipment and staff, and you don't want to die of hunger while doing your research:
      0. Write a Proposal
      …which means you need to convince a government, big corporation or some filthy rich fat cat to give you some money for your project. None of them will be interested. Firstly, they can't see how to make more money out of your research. Secondly, all of them are very likely complicit in having caused the problem you want to investigate.

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      The red tide has been around since the 1950s at least. I recall having seen a fish die-0ff near Marco Island in about 1993 or 1994. The dead fish were so thick one could almost walk on them. And afterward, around the winter of 2005, I believe, Florida Bay seemed to be dying. Manatees suffered such repeated cuts from boat motors in the bay that one could hardly find one without the scars.

      "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both say it poses no threat to public safety." So, the dumping of nuclear and chemical waste and the death of the Gulf of Mexico with corexit, bacteria, and oil probably have nothing to do with all this? It's more than the red tide, I think. Our chickens begin to come home to roost. Meanwhile, the Administration "Stonewalls" Fukushima.

  • 🙁

    HOW MUCH LONGER until the insidious harm caused by the Nuclear Industry and it's proponents becomes clear to the majority of people?

    …and once the reasons for suffering and ecosystems destroyed becomes indisputable, will they understand it?

    …or will it be too late?

    "It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."
    – Aristotle

  • Sol Man

    More, and more, and more, and more, until the world holds more death and dying than life, then the people that need to may see that light. But, I doubt it.

  • nohobear nohobear

    Don't need coffee this morning. Just had a good scream of rage and frustration reading this article.

    Record number of sea lions on West Coast dying as well. It does appear to be an eco system collapse, with top of the chain predators (bio accumulation?) falling fast.

    Still waiting for the damn report about the Alaskan seals (from over a year ago!!!!) covered with the lesions. Could our government be any more corrupt. Corporations own our whore politicians completely.

    TPTB will do anything to prevent the true cause of the sea mammals dying from being known, because the truth will come out that if they are heavily contaminated, then we are too. Seafood and California produce would be shunned, west coast/Hawaii real estate would plummet.

    Some days, I just don't want to get out of bed or pay the mortgage, because really, what's the point? I strongly suspect I will finish my days with some cancer and no health insurance, and be left to die a painful death, as one of the "useless eaters" that dear Dr. Strangelove Kissinger called us.

    Is it coincidence that one of the most popular shows on TV is "The Walking Dead"? Talk about tapping into the Zeitgeist.

  • Massively accelerated collapse of bees in California also

    An article addressing the bee collapse is here: Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farms March 28 2013 by M. Wines NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/science/earth/soaring-bee-deaths-in-2012-sound-alarm-on-malady.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130329&_r=0

    [excerpted] BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A mysterious malady that has been killing honeybees en masse for several years appears to have expanded drastically in the last year, commercial beekeepers say, wiping out 40 percent or even 50 percent of the hives needed to pollinate many of the nation’s fruits and vegetables.

    • You might want to look up 'neo-nics,' a type of pesticide based on altered nicotine molecules. The breakdown products are toxic too. The planet's wildlife is getting hit from many directions…

      • Yes the neo-nics are the main culprit and the EU is considering banning them, although they're produced by the German Bayer (sp?) co.

        However, if you read the article you will see that this year's die off has been unprecedented, accelerated, alarming…

        Too many pollutants and perhaps Fuku fallout was the tipping point

        The article was written from Bakersfield, which happened to have the highest fallout readings according to the EPA radnet data


        • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

          Bayer ist shifting their activities more and more to the U.S., sadly:
          "(…)Biotech crop seeds have long been part of Bayer CropScience’s business. Much of the trait development – work in the lab and greenhouse to come up with genes that improve crop yield and make corn, soybean, cotton and canola plants more resistant to insects and more tolerant to herbicides, drought and stress – has been done at Bayer’s plant technology innovation center in Ghent, Belgium.

          When Bayer stepped up investment in plant technology research and development in 2009, it could have just added on to the Ghent facilities. Instead, the company shifted its focus from Europe to the U.S., where consumers are more accepting of genetically modified crops. So far, Bayer has announced close to $400 million in investments to boost biotech trait development near Bayer CropScience’s U.S. headquarters in RTP.

          “We see that as a logical place,” Bayer CropScience spokesman Jack Boyne said from his RTP office."


          • DUDe DisasterInterpretationDissorder

            Hi BnB
            I hope our shamefull department of monsanto in Belgie dissapears or at least crawl's back to where it came from too. But stopping to exist globbaly would be preferred altogether.

  • Perhaps these marine kills are a consequence from the millions of gallons of Corexit sprayed after the Macondo incident, or maybe this is from the crude oil, or from whatever toxic wastes that flow into the area from rivers. Humans have done many harmful things besides the radiation releases, and without some serious, unbiased research, we the people will never know–nor will it matter, if it doesn't stop.

    • many moons

      unbiased research has become a contradiction in terms.
      You are so right nobuggy – if the truth won't be known, no one will stop so it won't matter anyway.

    • Anthony Anthony

      Exactly. When I was thinking out the sea lion sickness, it flashed into my mind they should check the pups and mothers milk for Corexit. I didn't post that as I thought it was a stretch to link California to GOM but, it is water. The other thing is that we don't really know definitively the entire range of sea animals, we think we do but we really don't. The sea lions and-or their foodstuffs may have been contaminated by the path of Corexit. It is not just a coincidence that multiple species of SEA MAMMALS are PRESENTING serious illnesses and dying AT THE SAME TIME. Add to the mix their other ocean brothers the whales and other porpoises who have been dropping like flies for the last four years.

      Corexit is deadly for land MAMMALS so why would it be any different for the sea MAMMALS?

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      The Petkau Effect And Low Dose Radiation Harm Caused To Humans, Plants, Animals; via A Green Road

  • weeman

    Since man set foot on earth it is the same thing, we're ever he goes biodiversity suffers, just look at the animals that inhabited north America before man arrived 15000 years ago.
    I ask a simple question how many people can the earth support, it is not a infinite number and that numbering has a direct effect on biodiversity.
    The earths population has doubled since I was born in 1960, take a look at the graph it is vertical now this is unsustainable and at the expense of biodiversity, we are now experiencing extinction at a rate that has not been seen since Cambrian epoch?
    Nature has a answer for situations like this, if we do not act now it will, that is a given.
    Now to test my hypothesis and gather the data, I would tell you my conclusions but sorry no one left to read.

  • DUDe DisasterInterpretationDissorder

    Don't worry , monsteranto will replace them all with better , upgraded , obama approved species . Progress will FIX this like it always does (not) says the smiling capitalist . Now where is my bonus aka bribe aka election .

    • weeman

      You can't improve on perfection.

    • We Not They Finally

      What is it with Obama? You probably never had any problem with anyone else before the guy in the WHITE House was BLACK. Sorry to call you out, but it gets too disgusting to read. Look to the Bushes, even. Look to Bush Sr. and depleted uranium in Iraq. Obama's a puppet, but Bush Sr. actually deliberately INITIATED destruction of the species — the human species — us. But honestly, even without radiation, racism would be foul enough.

      • DUDe DisasterInterpretationDissorder

        Black ? disgusting ? NO problems with others ? calling me out ? really ?

        I'm not sure what is troubling you but stay with me for a hypothetical sec .
        Now , Could it be that the reason i'm critical of obama , whom i believed in and supported long ago , untill the bankers fiasco and the gulf oil catastrophy to be precise , has NOTHING to do with skin of color (seriously that you think of that say's something about you ) or the fact that busch was the american president that made corruption and psychopaty in high positions almost legal by shameless example .

        Could , just could , it be that it is because he is the president NOW THIS MOMENT , continuing and accellerating the mess ?

        Read this thread before "calling me out" to be a disgusting racist if you could be so "politically correct" . Thanks !



        • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


          I also have problems with Obama and it is not because he is black. Yes, I was born and live in the South, but I also was active during the civil rights movement of the early 60s. The University of Florida was integrated and we fought shoulder to shoulder for the civil liberties of blacks in this town. But this President does not tell people what he is actually doing, as opposed to what he is saying. Read his Executive Orders. Opposing Obama does not necessarily mean one is a racist.

          • Joe Ebslap Joe Ebslap

            I voted for Obama twice but recently he signed the Monsanto Rider inserted into the Continuing resolution for government funding. I was proud that this country could go from slavery to a black president in a relatively short time. I dislike that he has been bought by corporate interests. We no longer live in a democracy, it is now a corporatocracy. The environment and food supply are important issues to me and he has failed me in a big way.

      • eatliesndie eatliesndie


      • eatliesndie eatliesndie

        Barrick Obama bin laden Bush is black? I thought he was a white guy…sure acts like one. Me, I'm black and white… who cares!

  • Mack Mack

    Florida has a Gulf Loop current which flows from the Gulf of Mexco to the East Coast of Florida, so the problem could originate on the West coast of Florida and be transported to the East coast of Florida:

    A few theories for the animal deaths:

    1. From Nuclear Effluent?

    Look at the nuclear power plants along the coastal waters, spilling effluent into the ocean:

    Maybe manatees, pelicans, turtles and fish don't like Tritium, Cesium, and Iodine and Krypton gases settling down on them.

    Port St Lucie nuclear power plant is on the west coast of Florida, 50 miles from Brevard.

    Turkey Point nuclear power plant is near Miami, on the west coast of Florida.

    Crystal River nuclear power plant is on the east coast of Florida. It's being closed down, but maybe releasing effluent as it closes down?

    2. From Offshore Oil drilling?

    3. From Seismic Testing for Oil?

    4. From The Oil Spill/Corexit?

    * Florida's Gulf Loop current could bring it to the East Coast of Florida:

  • m a x l i

    Manatees Dying in Droves? Nothing to worry about. For every problem there is a solution. We need more (nuclear) power plants!

    And unfortunately, for some solutions there are a billion problems…

  • Mack Mack

    Is everyone aware they're building 2 NEW nuclear power plants in Levy County, Florida?


    It's one of the last untouched areas in Florida.

    Once a nuclear plant goes up, it pollutes the area forever.

    The "Atomic Safety and Licensing Board" rejected a challenge that nuclear power plants in Levy County will have environmental impacts.

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      Has the building of Levy County I and II been confirmed?? Do you have a link to it? If so, please post ASAP. Even little Levy County does not want to produce electricity for the developers in Tampa.

      • Mack Mack

        Hi NoPrevarication.

        The latest news on Levy County is that it is one step closer to being built. Duke Energy is pushing to get it built —>

        "The Levy County nuclear plant project moved a step closer to securing its operating license on Tuesday after a three-judge panel ruled against an environmental challenge."

        "We're very pleased with the ruling today," said Sterling Ivey, a spokesman of Duke Energy, which would run the plant. "We didn't expect anything different. We're going to continue pushing forward to get the (operating) license."


        • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


          If they construct a nuclear power plant in Levy County I will have to leave the state and my ancestors have been here since before it became a state. I will not live downwind of a nuclear power plant! Woe to the near 50,000 students at the University of Florida and upwards of another 50,000 at Santa Fe College.

          I was at the hearing in Levy County and I KNOW there are environmental consequences and so does Progress Energy. They don't care about the consequences and have to know they are roundly hated by the local populace who probably don't have the means of leaving.

          Tampa has karst topography and so does most of Florida. Just wait until people's homes begin to disappear into sinkholes created by the withdrawal of water and the poisoning of the waterways by this monstrosity.

          No more nuclear power plants anywhere!!!

  • many moons

    Seems strange that when the problem is red tide, something entirely natural the scientists can conclude without doubt that it's the red tide killing the sea life, but when it's something of a non biological nature, an industry produced problem…gee those scientists just can't figure out WHAT could be causing the problem….a few more years of testing and they should have something conclusive until then…it will remain a MYSTERY!

    mysterious will one day be considered a synonym for radiation

  • m a x l i

    I posted this already 3 days ago, but here it's in a better place:

    "A fisherman working off the Florida Keys recently caught a bull shark, then opened it up to find that it contained two live fetuses, including one highly unusual one with two heads."

  • SophieQ

    Humankind collectively is like a fool, who only knows what precious thing he had when he lost it. Not one moment earlier. The moral of this story is clear: only when the last tree is felled, the last river killed – only then will they understand that You can't eat money.

    • NoPrevarication NoPrevarication


      This has happened over and over again. Read Jared Diamond's book "Collapse." Mankind never learns from the lessons of the past.

  • dosdos dosdos

    Red tides are most often caused by rain runoff of over-fertilized agricultural land. Dead zones have been plaguing the Gulf of Mexico for decades. It is progressively getting worse.

  • Alec

    I think many of you good folks here will appreciate the wisdom of this clip:

  • eatliesndie eatliesndie

    Our earth is dying…not so slowly.

  • Salemone Salemone

    Planet Earth will survive…in her own way, full of life or barren. Chances are there will not be humans or mammals. We are too greedy and stupid to survive. We will go the way of the dinosaur.

  • tigrodelnorte tigrodelnorte

    "The hottest places in hell,are reserved for those,who in times of great moral crisis………….maintain their neutrality" Dante.

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    "paradise is reserved for those, who in times of great moral crisis, target monsanto and tepco execs with darts of roundup and plutonium, and who refuse to sell a single potato to hungry bankers and lying politicians" anon

  • saltyfishlvr

    Two reports of dying sea life headlining Enews, it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes.

  • irhologram

    Dante's inspiration: "‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich…" Rev. The Bible. Happy Easter, everyone!

  • bwoodfield bwoodfield

    At work the day I was speaking to one of out service reps who lives in Florida. We were talking about fishing and he was saying that it's just a given fact now; no matter what you haul in when fishing in the gulf, you don't eat. He was saying that he's been seeing, and hearing from other buddies that go fishing, that many of the fish being hauled up have sores, undersized, etc.


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