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HomeGlobalBlack Sea dolphins are dying and may be victims of war

Black Sea dolphins are dying and may be victims of war

Dolphins burned by bomb explosions or mines.

several thousand found dead suddenly, some washed up on the shores of Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and the Ukraine.

The sudden and mysterious death of so many of the graceful marine mammals is raising alarm among some scientists that the war in Ukraine may be taking an increasing toll on life in the Black Sea.

Fitzroy dolphins jump from the waters of the Atlantic Sea, off the coast of Golfo Nuevo, near Puerto Madryn, REUTERS/Maxi Jonas (ARGENTINA.

Battles along the Ukrainian coast have caused a incalculable environmental damage and have interfered with dolphin habitat, scientists say.

But the war has made it impossible to collect detailed information, leaving dolphin deaths as a mystery for now.

recent studies of Bulgaria, Turkey and Ukraine found that marine biodiversity was increasingly threatened due to warfare, including from bombs falling on coastal feeding grounds, oil from sunken ships, and discharge from rivers contaminated by chemicals used in ammunition.

Ivan Rusev, an environmental scientist at the Tuzla Estuaries National Nature Park in Ukraine, said data collected by his organization since the start of the war indicated that several thousand dolphins had been killed.

He said that increased noise from ships and the use of powerful sonar systems can also disorient to dolphins, who use sound to navigate.

“Some of the dolphins had burns from bomb blasts or mines and could no longer navigate and of course could not forage,” he wrote.

Turkey’s Marine Research Foundation reported in March “an extraordinary increase” in dead dolphins washing ashore there.

He said dolphins were being caught in fishing nets, and he was investigating why such incidents had increased in number, including whether military activity in the northern Black Sea was playing a role.

“Along with marine pollution, noise from ships and low-frequency sonars are known to be a serious threat to marine species, especially dolphins, which actively use underwater sounds for feeding and navigation,” the researchers said. Turks.

The Turkish Marine Research Foundation has also said that the war is taking a devastating price andn Marine biodiversity in general.

The Russian navy dominates the Black Sea off the Ukrainian coast and has imposed a blockade on all Ukrainian shipping.

Russia has waged brutal campaigns to gain control of several key Ukrainian ports along the Black Sea and adjoining Sea of ​​Azov, and its warships patrol the waters around Ukraine.

Before the war, 100 scientists representing an international cetacean conservation treaty group and using 10 planes and six ships studied marine life in the Black Sea and Mediterranean area.

They discovered that the Black Sea harbored more than 253,000 dolphins, a healthy number that, according to scientists, offered a positive ecological indicator of the ecosystem in general.

Now, however, it remains to be seen what the ultimate cost of the war will be for dolphins and other marine life.

c.2022 The New York Times Company

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