Kamchatka Marine Life Death Caused By Algae: Russian Scientist

The mass death of sea creatures in Russia’s Kamchatka region was caused by toxins from microalgae rather than man-made pollution, a senior Russian scientist said on Monday, citing preliminary findings of an investigation.

Locals on the volcanic peninsula in the Pacific raised the alarm in September as surfers experienced stinging eyes and sea creatures, including octopuses, seals and sea urchins, were found dead on the shore.

Scientists suggested that up to 95 percent of marine life living along the seabed in the affected area had died.

Conservation activists had raised concern that the source of the pollution could be a Soviet era storage ground for poisonous chemicals on Kamchatka that might have seeped out into the sea.

“I am sure that we are facing a large-scale phenomenon, but not an uncommon one for Kamchatka, called harmful blooming algae,” the vice president of Russia’s Academy of Sciences, Andrei Adrianov, told journalists

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Scientists detect ‘mass death’ of sea life off Russia’s Kamchatka

A Greenpeace handout photo showing the area off Khalaktyr beach on the Kamchatka peninsula that may have been contaminated with
A Greenpeace handout photo showing the area off Khalaktyr beach on the Kamchatka peninsula that may have been contaminated with toxic chemicals

Pollution off the Pacific shoreline of the remote Kamchatka peninsula has caused the mass death of marine creatures, Russian scientists said Tuesday.


Locals sounded the alarm in late September as surfers experienced stinging eyes from the water and sea creatures including seals, octopuses and sea urchins washed up dead on the shore.

Coming on the heels of a massive oil leak in Siberia, the latest incident has sparked a large-scale investigation with fears that poisonous substances in underground storage since the Soviet era could have leaked into the water.

A team of divers from a state nature reserve found a “mass death” of sea life at a depth of five to 10 metres (16-33 feet), Ivan Usatov of the Kronotsky Reserve said, adding that “95 percent are dead.”

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