Peruvians puzzle over sea-life die-off

science | Mar 05, 2013 | By Martin Barillas

Scientists and authorities continue to investigate the possible causes of the death of an as yet unknown number of sea creatures that washed up on Peru's Pacific coast. On February 22, dead marine animals were found along the Lambayeque coastline of northern Peru.

 
An inspection conducted by government agencies and non-government organizations revealed count of 18 sea turtles, 22 sea lions, eight dolphins, 16 angular roughsharks and 22 marine birds found dead and decomposing. Some of the carcasses were sprayed with a special paint as part of the investigation into the causes of the die-off.
 
According to AP, engineer Jaime De La Cruz, with Peru's Ocean Institute (IMARPE), listed the total number of species found and said that a report on the cause is expected soon.
 
The inspection on February 22, took place along some 125 kilometers (77 miles) of Peru's vast Pacific coastline. Since 2011, there have been increasing numbers of sea creatures washing up dead on the shore. Peruvian officials have not yet pin-pointed a cause, but some of the possible explanations include viruses, offshore oil exploration, or poisoned food sources.


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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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