20,000 Toxins Under the Sea
Ocean Mammals Getting Pummeled by Pollution
New research indicates that human-made toxins have infiltrated deep and remote parts of the ocean. The Ocean Alliance, a Massachusetts-based research organization, has found troubling levels of DDT, PCBs, and other contaminants in the blubber of sperm whales. Scientists were surprised at their initial findings, as the deep-water whales — whose long life spans and thick blubber make them excellent “bio-indicators” — typically live far from coastlines. In other bummer news about ocean mammals, a number of dead bottlenose dolphins discovered off the shore of South Australia were found to contain record levels of mercury, known to cause liver damage in the friendly, frolicking, intelligent, really-don’t-deserve-this creatures.