Russian oceanographers: dirty water kills dolphins of the Black sea

The observation of dolphins will deploy, beginning in the summer of 2018, the Institute of Oceanology of RAS on almost the entire Russian Black sea coast from the border with Abkhazia to the Crimea. The purpose of the study is to understand how different populations of three key species of mammals — dolphins: belobochka, bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises over the last 30-40 years.


As reported by “MK” at the Institute, studying and living condition of the dolphins — only a part of the global study of the ecological status of the Black sea. Dolphin the highest level of the ecological food chain in the area, but because its condition is an indicator of the whole ecosystem. If in the Crimea, they researched for more than 30 years ago, on the Caucasian coast, in Sochi comprehensive the Dolphin research was not conducted ever.

What is now known biologists from scattered data, leads to sad thoughts: in those places where once dolphins were found in large numbers, now there is no one individual. For example, such a situation has developed in recent years tarhankutsky Peninsula in the Crimea, which in the late 70-ies was considered the Dolphin place. There is a version that the mass trawl fish undermined the food base of bottlenose dolphins in these places, and they went to another place.

Another common Dolphin, which is considered a pelagic species (living away from the coast) demonstrating unusual behavior, moving, in spite of old habits, closer to the shore and begins to compete with resident bottlenose dolphins.

However, the greatest concern is the frequent emissions to the shore dead animals sea pig (or mass stranding of harbour porpoise). Examination of the corpses talk about their weakness and death from infections. Something strikes them in the water. This is thoroughly out scientists. The underlying assumption is that they put forward is water pollution. However, the grass mass stranding of harbour porpoise, not directly, but eating fish that contain poisonous substances.

Due to the fact that a lot of questions, scientists supported by well-known Russian oil company starts three-year Dolphin watching 1/3 of the entire coastline of the Black sea. This will allow scientists to make extrapolation to the whole sea as a whole and to answer questions about the number of animals, sizes of their flocks, average size of the body. To observe marine mammals will be with rented boats, planes or quadcopters as well as with coastal observatories. Interestingly, from the shore to count the bottlenose dolphins, the biologists intend to not visually, but with acoustic instruments, fixing the depth of an individual element of the autographs of these animals.

Help “MK” In 2017 on the Black sea coast recorded mass mortality of dolphins not only in Russia (68 dolphins), but also in Georgia (19 dolphins), Ukraine (several dozen), as well as in Romania and Bulgaria (35 dolphins). The vast majority of corpses are no visible signs of injury that suggests the defeat of the unknown infection.

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