How to save the Caspian seal (Pusa caspica)?

© 2017. М.T. Baimukanov, the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology, Irgeli, Karasay District, Almaty Region, the Republic of Kazakhstan, e-mail:

The Caspian seal (Pusa caspica) has endangered status on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, the status of the Caspian seal in the Caspian countries is different. The Caspian seal was listed in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Azerbaijan (since 1993) and Turkmenistan (since 201) as a species being on the verge of extinct. The Islamic Republic of Iran uses IUCN status. In the Republic of Kazakhstan, there has not been commercial hunting since 2006 (since this year, the limit on seal hunting has not been approved). In the Russian Federation, the Caspian seal is an object of commercial hunting. The total allowable catch is annually approved. Countries have disagreements both in the current number of the Caspian seal population and methods used for its assessment.

Adhering to the principle of precaution declared in the Framework Convention on Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea and the Agreement on Preservation and Rational Use of Water Biological Resources of the Caspian Sea, the following priority joint actions could be: the declaration of moratorium on seal commercial hunting, and joint researches on the Caspian seal number on ice fields of the Northern and Northeast Caspian conducted by the Caspian countries. As an example of independent actions implementation, it is offered that the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of wild life protection should be improved – this would give a legal basis for the species preservation, as well as an opportunity to organise specially protected natural areas in the places of seals concentration in the Kazakhstan part of the Caspian Sea.

l to read more (the paper in Russian)

Photo: Mirgaliy Baimukanov



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