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Sonar May Have Killed Thousands of Dolphins off Peru April 6, 2012
Stranded dolphin
ORCA staff attempting to recover beached dolphin along Peruvian coast.
Many of the 3,000 dolphins found dead along the coast of Peru this year were killed by deepwater sonar systems used during seabed oil exploration, according to one of the country’s leading environmental groups.

Researchers at the Organization for the Conservation of Aquatic Animals (ORCA) say that they found damage in the dolphins’ middle ear bones, which was caused by ship sonar blasts.

“We have been noting that the animals were suffering ... a violent death produced by an acoustic boom that disorients the animal and produces hemorrhages which cause the animal to end up dying on the beach,” said ORCA director Carlos Yaipen Llanos.

The group says the recent Peruvian deaths represent the greatest number of beached dolphins found anywhere in the world over the past decade.

Peru’s oceanic institute, IMARPE, says it has taken samples from the dolphins for testing.

Photo: ORCA