Future uncertain for troubled dolphins off S. Carolina coast
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — There were 350 dolphins off the coast of South Carolina in 2008, and it’s unclear how many remain in the face of increasing human activity, crab pot entanglement and other dangers.
The executive director of conservation group The Lowcountry Marine Mammal Network, Lauren Rust, tells The Post and Courier that the dolphin population is smaller than people realize.
Since the 2008 count, crab pot entanglement deaths have steadily increased and dozens of sick and malnourished dolphins have washed ashore dead. A virus broke out along the East Coast from 2013 to 2015, killing more than 1,500 dolphins, about 178 of which washed ashore in South Carolina.
And while the dolphins seemingly dwindle, funding is being cut at agencies such as the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com