Home > Man-Made Disasters, Mass Animal Deaths, Pestilence > ‘A Bleak Picture of the State of the World’s Oceans’: Animal Diseases, Parasites Increasingly Plague Sea Mammals

‘A Bleak Picture of the State of the World’s Oceans’: Animal Diseases, Parasites Increasingly Plague Sea Mammals


“VANCOUVER – When dead sea mammals started washing ashore on Canada’s west coast in greater numbers, marine biologist Andrew Trites was distressed to find that domestic animal diseases were killing them.

Around the world seals, otters and other species are increasingly infected by parasites and other diseases long common in goats, cows, cats and dogs, marine mammal experts told a major science conference.

The diseases also increasingly threaten people who use the oceans for recreation, work or a source of seafood, scientists told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in this Western Canadian city.

The symposium ‘Swimming in Sick Seas’ was one of many sessions at this year’s AAAS that drew a bleak picture of the state of the world’s oceans, which are increasingly acidic, warming in some areas and being inundated with melting ice or other climate change effects.

‘There are dramatic shifts in the ocean ecosystem,’ said Jason Hall-Spencer of Britain’s University of Plymouth, citing his research in Italy, Baha California and Papua New Guinea that is ‘all showing the same thing’ …” Read more.

Necropsy Finds Large Number of Parasites ‘Channeling Into the Brain’ of Dolphin That Died in Ocean City – “Preliminary results of a necropsy performed on the dolphin found dead in a bayside Ocean City lagoon on Sunday (Feb. 12) show ‘a heavy load of parasites channeling into the brain,’ according to Bob Schoelkopf, the director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine. Similar parasites were found in a dolphin found dead on a Delaware Bay beach in Lower Township on Sunday and in a dolphin that died shortly after stranding in Stafford Township off Barnegat Bay on Monday (Feb. 13), Schoelkopf said. All three animals were common dolphins, a species that typically travels in groups at least 20 miles off the coast of New Jersey.” Read more.

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