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Marc Lawrence, Global Geophysical’s vice president in the Gulf region, said the seismic surveys do not pose a danger to marine mammals.

“We see no hazard to them whatsoever,” Lawrence said. As proof, he said dolphins routinely ride along with ships when they are conducting surveys.

He said the restriction covers an area that ranges out to about 20 miles off the Louisiana coast. He called BOEM’s restriction unprecedented. His company is searching for overlooked reservoirs in areas along the central Louisiana coast: Grand Isle, Timbalier island, the West Delta and south Pelto.

This is the same area where government scientists say they have found sick and dead dolphins.

From February 2010, NOAA has reported 180 dolphin strandings in the three parishes that surround Barataria Bay _ Jefferson, Plaquemines and Lafourche _ or about 18 percent of the 1,000 estimated dolphins in the bay.

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it had found 32 dolphins in the bay underweight, anemic and showing signs of liver and lung disease. Nearly half had low levels of stress hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function.

Lori Schwacke, a NOAA scientist, said the dolphins’ hormone problems could not definitely be tied to the oil spill but were “consistent with oil exposure.”

Over the same period of time, NOAA says 714 dolphins and whales have been found stranded from the Florida Panhandle to the Texas state line, with 95 percent of those mammals found dead. Normally, the region sees 74 reported dolphin deaths a year.