On December 3, thousands of dead seals were found on the coast of the Caspian Sea in Dagestan.
According to the North Caucasian Territorial Administration of the Federal Agency for Fishery, the carcasses of the Caspian seals were seen in different locations of the Kirovsky district of the city of Makhachkala. The largest number of dead seals was found in the area of the Yuzbash canal, as well as between the mouths of Sulak and Shurinka rivers.
In total, as many as 2,500 dead seals were found on the coast of the Caspian Sea in Dagestan.
Zaur Gapizov, the Director of the Caspian Conservation Center, suggested that the seals died about two weeks ago. Experts did not find signs of violent death on the bodies of the dead seals. They did not find any fragments of fishing nets either.
Specialists of the Volga-Caspian branch of the All-Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography collected samples for a detailed analysis to establish the reasons that led to the death of the seals.
For the time being, it is believed that the seals died of distemper virus. This is evidenced by the state of the liver of the studied individuals. Specialists dismiss other versions, such as poisoning by oil or sewage products, as other species would have died as well. However, it is too early to draw conclusions.
It is worthy of note that natural gas emissions are typical for the Caspian Sea basin. The Ministry of Natural Resources said that the reasons for the incident would be clear only after laboratory tests.
The death of several hundreds of seals will not affect their population critically, because the general population of Caspian seals remains stable — from 270,000 to 300,000 individuals.
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