It is difficult to determine how many of the washed-up dead turtles found at the Gulf were a result of the oil leak or other causes. Many dead turtles were found which were initially attributed to the oil leak, but further investigation by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicated that many of the casualties may actually have been due to shrimp fishing. Fine nets trawl the ocean floor and often drown sea turtles in the process.
That said, the number of visibly oiled live turtles found was 456. There were 17 visibly oiled dead turtles, and 308 dead turtles with no visible oil.
The findings by NOAA suggest that the Gulf has been harmed by humans systematically, through inhumane fishing practices, long before this oil leak occurred, and that the leak brought much-needed attention to an already battered ecosystem.
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