The Sun Herald in Mississippi is reporting an unusually high number of baby dolphins washing up on shore this month in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, with the concentration so far on Mississippi’s shores. Blair Mase, NOAA’s marine mammal stranding coordinator for the Southeast region, has confirmed 17 baby dolphin deaths so far this year. This is the first birthing season since the BP oil spill less than a year ago, which occurred just as Chiron entered Pisces briefly.
According to the Sun Herald, Mase said this is the time of the year she sees death in young dolphins, because it is the beginning of the birthing season. But she also acknowledges the normal birthing season is a little later in the year. This suggests the baby dolphins may not be full term.
Mase continued, “We run the gamut of causes, including human impact, which would include the oil spill; infectious disease and bio-toxins.” While it is good science to thoroughly test the dead dolphins for all possible causes, other reports of the continued presence of oil on the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico do not bode well. The degree of contact the mother dolphins may have had with the oil and the equally toxic dispersant Corexit used last spring is unknown.
Institute for Marine Mammal Studies director Moby Solangi told the Sun Herald it’s too early to tell why they died. “For some reason, they’ve started aborting or they were dead before they were born,” Solangi said. “The average is one or two a month. This year we have 17 and February isn’t even over yet,” with 13 of those found in the last two weeks. Solangi stated that dolphins breed in the spring and carry their young for 11 to 12 months. This means breeding, which occurs in shallow water, bays and sounds — where oil did make its way — occurred last spring around the time of the April 20 oil spill.
This news coincides with Mercury’s ingress of Pisces, where it is conjunct Chiron. The spotlight has returned to the deeply-wounded Gulf of Mexico, in the midst of some other very potent astrology charging up world events. It’s one of the first tangible long term signs of this injury to the sea, to the creatures who call it home and to the health of the planet — which we have barely begun to grasp. Dolphins are some of the most intelligent animals on Earth, and Mercury conjunct Chiron is helping them to send a message. The question is: Are we listening?