Bottlenose Dolphin Mortality in Florida
Between March 10 and April 13, 2004, 107 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates) stranded dead along the Florida Panhandle; a considerably high number compared to an annual average of eight per year for the Panhandle. The Harmful Algal Bloom Event Response Program contributed to a broad NOAA response, by providing funding to the Florida Marine Research Institute to support critical sampling for Karenia brevis cell counts, toxins, and other water quality information offshore and around St. Joseph Bay, where the majority of mortalities were localized. Brevetoxin measured in water and fish suggested that biotoxins were a likely cause of mortality. For more about this event, visit the NOAA Fisheries Service Office of Protected Resources web page.