|Wikimedia Commons Image|
BILOXI -- The Obama administration has issued a gag order on data over the recent spike of dead dolphins, including many stillborn infants, washing up on Mississippi and Alabama shorelines, and scientists say the restriction undermines the scientific process.
An abnormal dolphin mortality this year along the Gulf coast has become part of a federal criminal investigation over last year’s BP oil spill disaster and as a result, has led the US government to clamp down on biologists’ findings, with orders to keep the results confidential.
The dolphin die-off, labeled an “unusual mortality event (UME),” resulted in wildlife biologists being contracted by the National Marine Fisheries Service to record the recent spike in dolphin deaths by collecting tissue samples and specimens for the agency, but late last month were privately ordered to keep their results under wraps.
Reuters has obtained a copy of the agency letter that states, in part: “Because of the seriousness of the legal case, no data or findings may be released, presented or discussed outside the UME investigative team without prior approval.”
Read Full Article