Iran oil spill may have killed dolphins

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Published: Oct. 4, 2007 at 3:07 PM

TEHRAN, Oct. 4 (UPI) — A recent wave of whale and dolphin deaths off the coast of Iran is being blamed on high pollution levels and a July oil spill.

Experts said the deaths, which were reported after 79 dolphins washed ashore Sept. 25, are related to a July 15 spill at Iran’s port of Bandar Abbas that released oil sludge containing several byproducts into the Persian Gulf, Radio Free Europe reported Thursday.

Ebrahim Kahrom, an Iranian environmentalist, said the gulf is 47 times more polluted than what he considers to be the “standard level.” He told RFE “severe oil pollution” related to the spill and other oil slicks present in the water may have killed the dolphins and six whales that have washed up over the course of the past month.

Kahrom said the confluence of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea is “the most polluted area of the southern seas.”

However, Mohammad Baqer Nabavi, a deputy head of the Iranian Environmental Protection Organization, said to RFE that he was skeptical that the deaths were the result of the spill. He said the dolphins likely died from gradual poisoning related to “chemical pollution” or oil.

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~ by fredfelleman on October 4, 2007.

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