We are sad to see how various entities are trying to put some spin on Peru stranding and suggest that it was caused by morbilivirus or PCBs. For starters, morbilivirus or PCBs do not cause unilateral ear bones fractures or air embolism, ok everybody? Now, when we’re clear on that, we can proceed discussing why suggestions that Peru dolphins died from morbilivirus or PCB are preposterous. The presence of antibodies does not necessarily mean that the virus was lethal and killed the host. The majority of studies that have been cited were based on stranded cetaceans and it is hard to find studies on morbilivirus in wild, non-stranded populations, like bycatch for example, as nobody tests them for morbilivirus. This virus, just like any other virus kills immunocompromised hosts. PCBs do not cause these huge onsets of mortalities that happen at once. However, these suggestions are clearly used to diffuse and redirect attention from the discussion about seismic testing off Peru and to label this stranding “a mystery that will never be solved“. In fact PCBs, morbilivirus and parasites are the usual scapegoats when the industry tries to hide the actual reasons for strandings, i.e. anthropogenic factors.
It has to be realized that the Navy and Oil and Gas industry do all they can to redirect attention from them in case of any strandings. They use all means available starting with Aristotle’s documentation of strandings and ending with PCBs, viruses and parasites to install doubt and to blame stranding on everything they can think of. It is amazing that despite overwhelming evidence the oil and gas industry still insists that there is no connection between strandings and seismic surveys. Think for a second, BPZ and Gold Oil have been extensively using 3D seismic arrays to search for oil off Peru’s coast since January. Then dolphins started washing ashore in insane numbers and a Cuvier’s beaked whale stranded alive. Dolphins had fractured ear bones, hemorrhage and other traumatic injuries, AND PEOPLE HAVE A NERVE (!) TO SUGGEST MORBILIVIRUS AND PCBs? Are you kidding? In addition, do we know how many vessels were doing testing? How many arrays they used? How often they fired them? When? What was the schedule 24/7? Day? Night? Are they still firing them? How can we be sure that the Navy did not do something in the area as well?
Peru stranding is yet another attempt of the biggest noise polluters to install doubts in peoples’ minds and get themselves off the hook. Please do not fall for that.