This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

SeaWorld And Hubbs-SeaWorld Scientists Uncover Fatal Attraction: Dolphins Choking On Fish, Fishing Line

ORLANDO, Fla., June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A team of scientists from SeaWorld and the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute has uncovered an unusual cause of death among bottlenose dolphins in Florida's Indian River Lagoon: asphyxiation (choking) by ingestion of certain fish.

(Logo: )

"This is the first study documenting a statistically significant number of dolphin deaths caused by choking," said Megan Stolen, M.S., Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute scientist and the study's principal author. 

"This research lays a critical foundation for future study because of environmental changes and invasive species altering prey populations," said Stolen.  

Published last week in open-access scientific journal PLOS One, the study found the choking deaths were caused by one of two things: the dolphins had ingested strong-spined fish whose fins had punctured and lodged in the esophagus obstructing the airway; or the animals had eaten fish attached to fishing line which wrapped around the larynx and interfered with breathing. ( ).

The study found a 4 percent dolphin mortality rate (14 of 350 deaths) over the past 15 years due to asphyxiation.  When the Indian River Lagoon animals were compared to dolphins from Florida's oceanside beaches, the significance of these findings was stark. The oceanside animals had no cases of similar asphyxiation either from line or fish ingestion.

While the impact of prey availability is under further review, the connection between dolphin deaths and recreational fishing in the lagoon is of more immediate concern.  In more than one-third of the cases identified, researchers found dolphins had choked on fish ensnared with hooks that embedded in the esophagus or with monofilament line that became entangled in the animals' larynx. 

Fishing gear -- line, lures, hooks -- has long been recognized as a danger to marine animals, including manatees, sea turtles and dolphins.  SeaWorld has rescued and rehabilitated thousands of animals that have become entangled and the company urges anglers to properly use and dispose of gear and avoid fishing in environmentally sensitive areas.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,063.49 -16.65 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,112.14 -5.55 -0.26%
NASDAQ 5,062.5410 -29.5440 -0.58%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs