NOAA declares 'unusual mortality events' for dolphins in Florida, seals in Northeast

Declarations trigger focused, expert investigations

UPDATED: August 31, 2018. See below for audio from the August 31, 2018, NOAA press call on two 'Unusual Mortality Event' declarations.

Today, NOAA Fisheries is declaring two separate and unrelated Unusual Mortality Events for marine mammals.

A necropsy is performed on a bottlenose dolphin by partners at Mote Marine Laboratory.
A necropsy is performed on a bottlenose dolphin by partners at Mote Marine Laboratory. (Mote Marine Laboratory)

One involves recent deaths of bottlenose dolphins associated with the red tide harmful algal bloom in Southwest Florida, and the other is for elevated strandings of harbor and grey seals in the Northeast attributed to disease. 

Join our media teleconference at 12:00 p.m. ET to hear more details and ask questions of our experts. We will provide the latest information about the dolphin and seal strandings, the process for investigating unusual mortality events, and what the public needs to know when they encounter stranded marine mammals.

Media availability to discuss Unusual Mortality Events for bottlenose dolphins and seals

August 31, 12:00 p.m. ET

Dial-in: 800-779-9050
International toll number: 1-517-308-9004
Passcode: NOAA


  • Teri Rowles, DV.M., Ph.D., Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Program coordinator, NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources
  • Laura Engleby, NOAA Fisheries Southeast Region Marine Mammal Program Branch Chief
  • Michael Asaro, NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Program Branch Chief
  • Additional NOAA experts will be on the call to help answer questions related to these events.

Media contact:
Kate Brogan