Scientists are investigating dolphin deaths along Mid-Atlantic states — which are seven times higher than normal. Virginia has recorded 78 dolphin deaths this month alone and at least 164 dead dolphins have been found this year, according to a report by CNN.
Scientists are investigating the possibility that a respiratory infection is the cause for the deaths.
As of Tuesday, federal authorities say, they have recorded 228 dolphin deaths this year from New York to Virginia. In all of 2012, 111 deaths were recorded.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued an Unusual Mortality Event in response to the deaths. The declaration brings special federal attention to deaths as something that serves as an indicator of ocean health and may give "insight into larger environmental issues which may also have implications for human health and welfare," according to NOAA's website.