Endangered seals found dead on Caspian Coast of Russia

For decades, the seal population in the Caspian Sea has suffered from overhunting and from the effects of industrial pollution.

Created On: May 8, 2021 14:31 ISTModified On: May 8, 2021 14:31 IST
Dead seals on Caspian Coast

The researchers of Moscow Marine Mammals Research Centre have informed that at least 170 endangered seals have washed up dead over the course of several days on the shores of the Caspian Sea in the Republic of Dagestan, Russia.

Viktor Nikiforov of the Moscow Marine Mammals Research Centre stated that these are the dead animals that they saw, photographed, and whose GPS coordinates they noted. The photographed images have shown several seal carcasses washed up on the shore.

As per Nikiforov, the deaths of seals may have been caused by fishing, industrial pollution, or poaching when the seals in the sea get caught in the nets. He also added that this can be the result of climate change of several causes at the same time.

The researchers have informed that it will at least take a year of serious surveillance to precisely identify the reason for the disaster.

Russia’s investigative committee looks into the incident:

As per the researchers, the seals were found some 100 km south of Makhachkala, Dagestan’s capital. While the other washed-up 50 km north of the city.

The Russian federal Fisheries Agency in the North Caucasus informed that it had dispatched the inspectors for carrying out a new count of the dead seals.

The Investigative Committee, which looks into the major crimes in Russia, stated that it was also looking into the incident.

Seal Population of the Caspian Sea suffers industrial pollution:

The World’s largest inland body of water, the Caspian Sea, is bounded by 5 countries: Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan.

For decades, the seal population in the Caspian Sea has suffered from overhunting and from the effects of industrial pollution. According to the experts, there are now about only 70,000 Caspian Seals which were more than one million in the early 20th century.

Authorities in December 2020 had reported the death of nearly 300 endangered seals on the Caspian Shore of Dagestan.

Increasing level of pollution in the Caspian Sea:

Pollution caused by the extraction of gas and oil, along with the declining water levels because of climate change has posed a major threat to many species and has also put the future of the sea itself at risk.

The United Nations Environment Program has also warned that the Caspian Sea suffers from an enormous burden of pollution.

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