OLENA BARSUKOVA – SUNDAY, 23 OCTOBER 2022
Since the beginning of the full-scale war, probably up to 50,000 dolphins have died in the Black Sea due to the actions of the Russian occupiers.
The cetaceans died as a result of the use of Russian warships, according to reports by the animal welfare organisation UAnimals, citing Ivan Rusev, a biologist and the head of the scientific department of the Tuzly Lagoons National Nature Park.
Russian ships and submarines create powerful sounds that affect the dolphins. As a result, the animals cannot orient themselves in space, become blind and hit mines.
Sonars used by the Russians on their ships have a negative effect on the health and life of marine animals.
Many dolphins came within the zone covered by ships' navigation devices; the latter disabled their navigation and echolocation organs and dealt them powerful acoustic injuries.
Earlier, Ivan Rusev had reported at least 5,000 dead cetaceans, but currently this number is much higher.
"Reminding once again that the sea washes up only about 5% of all dead animals. The remaining 95% simply go to the bottom of the sea and we cannot register them. They are not available for detection and counting from the shore.
Therefore, we estimate that during the war waged by Russian barbarians against Ukraine, probably up to 50,000 cetaceans have already died, which is absolutely terrible for the marine ecosystem", wrote Ivan Rusev.
Rusev states that in recent months, the Black Sea has no longer washed up dead dolphins on the shores.
"I have only seen bottlenose dolphins alive, but that is a very rare case. There was also no information that dead dolphins were found somewhere on the Black Sea coast or in other Black Sea countries", Rusev writes.
However, scientists recently found the remains of a dead dolphin on the seashore within the Tuzly Lagoons National Nature Park, near Lebedivka (Odesa Oblast).
"We once again found the remains of a dead dolphin in a part of the sandbar that is inaccessible to stray dogs and jackals, near high cliffs. There the dolphin dried up, but was not damaged by predators.
Considering that these are only remains, we can say that the animal probably died in the middle of the summer, when the Ruscists were actively moving around the sea and using sonars", says Rusev.
We recall that since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Russian Federation has already caused more than 37 billion euros in damage to the environment of Ukraine.