Masses of dead dolphins wash up on the Black Sea

Not only people suffer from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, animals and the environment also suffer massive damage. Conservationists are now sounding the alarm, but Russia is reluctant.

Dead dolphins wash up on the shores of the Black Sea, even in times of peace, but this year there are apparently particularly many. In Sevastopol in Crimea and in Sochi, Russia, marine biologists counted more than 700 dead and 90 stranded dolphins alone. Last year there were 350 dead animals, reports Euronews.

Conservationists from other neighboring countries report similar things: The Romanian media reports at least 62 washed up dolphins, in Turkey there have been at least 80 since February: An “extraordinary increase”, quotes the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” Bayram Öztürk, head of the Turkish Navy ResearchFoundation. In Bulgaria even dead dolphins with blast wounds have been washed up. How many of the marine mammals died this year cannot be determined, according to Ivan Rusev, director of the Tusli Lagoon National Park near Odessa. But he expects there to be thousands.

Russia denies mass dolphin deaths

According to Ruzev, the reason for the mass death of dolphins is obvious: “The Russian fleet in the Black Sea is constantly firing powerful shells and using military sonars that reach a volume of over 200 decibels under water,” Ruzev writes on Facebook. “The animals lose their sense of direction and acoustic control of their surroundings. They get lost on land and die in panic.” The fact that the dead dolphins had no net marks or broken tails is a strong indication they were not killed by poachers.

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