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Several dead dolphins wash up on Naples beaches

Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 16:13:17-05

Some people visiting Naples beaches were met with a sad sight Monday - several dead dolphins had washed up on shore. At least four dolphins had been spotted on the beaches since Sunday afternoon, according to city of Naples Harbormaster Roger Jacobsen.

"We've been here for eighteen years, and never saw a dead dolphin on the beach," said Barry Martino of Naples, who lives on Central Avenue near the beach. "It is an aberration."

Colleen Gill of Naples, a self-described clean water advocate, posted a tearful video on Facebook Monday morning after finding the carcass of one of the dolphins on the beach near Central Avenue. 

"When is this going to stop?" Gill asked in the video.

"I just want to keep showing people what's happening," said Gill, who believes a lingering red tide bloom led to the dolphins' deaths. "I think the fish are infected now, so I think what we're going to see is dolphins get affected because they're eating the fish." 

A volunteer from Florida Fish and Wildlife removed the dead dolphins Monday afternoon. 

Gill believes FWC workers might have to come back to pick up more carcasses soon. She said she has spoken to boat captains who have seen more dead marine animals floating miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

"From what I understand, there is another fish kill happening offshore, and there have been turtles floating out there," Gill said. "As the wind pushes things in, we could see more of this, unfortunately."

A male loggerhead turtle was also found dead on Marco Island Monday. This is in addition to two more dolphins and a manatee found dead in Estero Bay near Lovers Key on Saturday.

According to a marine biologist, they will all be taken to a lab in Port Charlotte for necropsies to try to determine causes of death. Those results may not be available for several weeks.