Toxic algae involved, according to Moscow. Micro-algae are responsible for the massive deaths of marine animals in the Russian Far East, authorities say.
An explanation that does not convince environmental circles. The massive deaths of marine animals near the coasts of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s far east were caused by toxic algae, according to the Russian Academy of Sciences.
It rules out the human origin of the disaster. Since September, residents of Kamchatka have witnessed the presence of impressive numbers of dead marine animals on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean. They also suffered burns and vomiting after being in contact with or near water. The authorities have opened an investigation for “violation of the rules for the management of substances and waste dangerous for the environment” and “marine pollution”. But the hypotheses of pollution due to hydrocarbons or a nearby pesticide dump were subsequently officially ruled out.
The massive death of marine animals has occurred due to the “toxic effects” of microalgae, assured Friday Andrei Adrianov, vice-president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, during an online meeting Friday presenting the latest results of analyzes carried out by Russian scientists. According to Svetlana Radionova, head of the Rosprirodnadzor ecological monitoring agency, more than 5,000 examinations have failed to establish a “human-made impact” on marine life. Several experts, however, disagreed with this conclusion.
The Russian branch of Greenpeace has announced that it will not rule out any leads until it has had the results of its own investigation. The algae could have been contaminated by a sewage dump or a fertilizer leak, an NGO expert said. “Unfortunately, the information available today does not fully confirm any version of the ecological crisis off Kamchatka,” said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Russia regularly experiences environmental disasters, such as the spillage of 21,000 tonnes of fuel into arctic rivers at the end of May after a tank at a thermal power station collapsed near Norilsk. One of the causes put forward to explain this disaster is the melting of the frozen permafrost soils, which threatens the stability of the various industrial infrastructures in the Arctic.