Kazakhstan: Scientists discuss situation with Caspian seals

Новость на Казах-зерно:

There are less than one hundred thousand seals left in the Caspian Sea.

In the early twentieth century, their population was estimated at one million. These figures were announced in Aktau at the session entitled “Caspian Seal: Reality and Prospects”. On June 5th which marks World Environment Day, the scientists from Caspian states, environmentalists, representatives of shipping and oil companies, as well as government agencies, assembled in Aktau. The number of seals is decreasing despite all measures. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature categorized this species as “endangered” and included it in the Red List of Threatened Species. The mass mortality of seals in the Caspian Sea occurs almost every year. 35 carcasses of dead seals were found this March on the coast of the Mangistau region. The exact causes of their death are still unclear. Over the years, scientists have made different assumptions and listed chronic toxicosis, distemper, pasteurellosis, and an abnormally warm winter among the causes. The intensive development of the Caspian Sea shelf, increased shipping operations and poaching affected the habitat of seals and other representatives of the aquatic fauna. Experts believe that it is impossible to solve the problem of conservation of marine animals only at the national level.

Fisheries committee chairman of Kazakh Ministry of agriculture Kadyrzhan Teilanov : “It is necessary to involve the Caspian bordering countries in this activity. First of all, the neighboring Russia, where the reproduction of seals basically takes place in the northern part. I think that today the government assesses the situation here as critical”.

About two hundred million tenge will be included in the next year’s budget to study this problem. This will help identify the negative factors affecting the population of the Caspian seal and prevent its extinction.

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