First Dead Whale Found in Gulf
A dead sperm whale has been found in the gulf, the first whale found since the disaster happened. Scientists are in the process of determining how it died, and if oil was the cause:
"On Tuesday, June 15, the NOAA Ship Pisces reported a dead sperm whale floating 77 miles due south of the Deepwater Horizon spill site. NOAA is currently in the process of conducting thorough testing to determine the circumstances surrounding the mammal’s death, as well as collect information about its life. This is the first dead whale reported since BP’s rig exploded on April 20. It was not found in oiled waters; however, its location of death is unknown. As soon as the whale was sighted, Pisces Field Party Chief Paul Felts called the marine mammal hotline to report the finding to the Wildlife Branch of the Unified Command and NOAA’s marine mammal experts. Based on the estimated size of the whale, scientists believe it is a sub-adult. Its condition suggests it may have been dead for between several days to more than a week. Although it was not found in oiled water, NOAA marine mammal experts are using hindcasting analysis to look into the location from which the whale carcass may have drifted."
More: "NOAA and the Unified Command Wildlife Branch have had numerous reports of sperm whales seen swimming in the oil, but this is the first confirmed report of a dead whale since the BP oil spill began. NOAA remains concerned about sperm whales, which are the only endangered resident cetaceans in the upper Gulf of Mexico. Sperm whales spend most of their time in the upper Gulf offshore area, live at depth in areas where subsurface dispersants and oil are present, and feed on deepwater squid, which may also be impacted by the oil and dispersants."