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