1,700 Dead Seals Seen on Russia’s Caspian Coast

Officials announced on Sunday that over 1,700 dead seals had been discovered along southern Russia’s Caspian Sea coast.

The number of dead seals found on the coast of the Caspian Sea in Dagestan has risen to 1,700, RIA Novosti reports, citing Zaur Gapizov. Director general of the Caspian Coast Conservation Center. The Ministry of Natural Resources of the region claims that the seals died due to “natural factors.”

“The seals we found appeared to have passed away around two weeks ago based on their looks. Nothing from fishing nets or violent death was present, according to Gapizov. However, he added that there could be even more dead animals.

Gapizov claims that staff members from the environmental center, the Federal Agency for Fishery, and other divisions continue to explore the coast and try to determine why animals are dying.

The Federal Agency for Fishery’s North Caucasian Territorial Administration’s press office reported that 700 dead seals had been discovered along the coast the previous day.

The department’s inspectors went through the entire republic’s seashore. Experts came to the preliminary conclusion that young people had passed away. However, numerous seals were carrying young. Moreover, the inspected carcasses show no signs of having been suffocated by fishing nets.

According to the authorities in the Russian province of Dagestan, the cause of the animals’ deaths is yet unknown, but it is most likely that they died naturally.

Regional officials first reported on Saturday that 700 dead seals had been discovered on the coast. Still, on Sunday, Zaur Gapizov, the director of the Caspian Environmental Protection Center, said that 1,700 dead animals had been found after a more thorough survey of the coast.

The seals likely passed just a few weeks ago, according to Gapizov. However, he continued that there was no proof that poachers killed them.

The Caspian seal, or the Caspian seal, is an endemic animal of the Caspian Sea. That is, it lives only there. In this sea, just this mammal is present. The Caspian seal is considered endangered, and the Russian Federation’s Red Book listed it as such in 2020.

Past mass deaths of seals have frequently been attributed to natural causes.

There are numerous different estimates of the number of seals in the Caspian. For example, according to the fisheries department, there are between 270,000 and 300,000 Caspian seals in total, but only 70,000, according to Gapizov’s center.

Near Makhachkala on the Caspian Sea coast in May 2021, more than 150 dead Caspian seals were discovered. Many of the dead animals were skinless. The Ministry of Natural Resources suggested that the seals were caught in fishing trawls, after which poachers removed skins from most animals and dumped them into the sea.