Yaipen Llanos told MSNBC he believes acoustic testing produced a “sonic blast” which caused internal bleeding and loss of equilibrium for the dolphins, though he has “no definitive evidence” of this.
“It is a horrifying thought that these dolphins would die in agony over a prolonged period if they were impacted by sonic blast,” Hardy Johns, head of the conservation group BlueVoice.org, said in an statement obtained by MSNBC.
The dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico are in the midst of a massive die-off. The reasons why remain a complicated and mysterious mix of oil, bacteria, and the unknown.
Normally an average of 74 dolphins are stranded on the northern shore of the Gulf of Mexico each year, especially during the spring birthing season. But between February 2010 and April 1, 2012, 714 dolphins and other cetaceans have been reported as washed up on the coast from the Louisiana/Texas border through Franklin County, Florida, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 95 percent of the mammals were dead.