In the first half of May 2022, more than 150 dead Caspian seals were found on the Dagestan coast of the Caspian Sea. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of Dagestan (Minprirody of Dagestan) has commented this incident.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of Dagestan, within its powers, taking into account these facts and the importance of preserving the only mammal of the Caspian Sea for the unique ecosystem of Russia, regularly monitors the stranding of dead seals on the coast in order to register the places of their release, take samples of biomaterial and find out the reasons for their death.
These works are carried out jointly with leading scientists and specialists from the Institute of Ecology and Sustainable Development of Dagestan State University. According to the experts of this organization and other groups of scientists involved in the study of the Caspian seal population. the number of the Caspian seal is up to 100 thousand individuals. Experts note a few possible reasons for the decrease in the number and degradation of the Caspian seal population. Among the main ones are environmental pollution, global climate change, accidental by-catch and mass death of animals in nets during fishing, including illegal fishing.
According to recent studies, about 10,000 seals die every year in the waters of the Caspian for various reasons, including both natural and bycatch. In this regard, it was not possible to accurately determine the places (water areas) where animals had died, including the latest incident [in May 2022]. It is likely that the seals did not die in the Russian territorial waters, but their corpses were carried by currents to the Dagestan coast.
At the same time, after each stranding of dead seals, in accordance with the requirements of the legislation and response measures, specialists from the Minprirody of Dagestan sent relevant information about the death of animals to NCTA of the Federal Agency for Fisheries [North Caucasian Territorial Administration of the Federal Agency for Fisheries of the Russian Federation] and the North-Caucasian Interregional Department of Rosprirodnadzor to take response measures in connection with the death of the Caspian seal listed in the Red Book of Russia.
In the photo: A Caspian seal pup (a sivar) near the Dolphin-2 Recreation Center, May 9, 2022. The photo by V. Shevtsova, Head of Ecolife Dagestan Veterinary C enter for the Protection of Animals, and D. Dzhakhparaeva, Deputy Head of this organization.