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Dead Dolphins Washing Up In Black Sea May Be War Casualties, Scientists Say

Dead Dolphins Washing Up In Black Sea May Be War Casualties, Scientists Say

Many dolphins have been suddenly found dead on the coasts of Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine

Dead dolphins washing up in the Black Sea could be casualties from the Ukraine-Russia war, scientists have said.

As the war reaches its 100th day, many have suffered and died as a result.

This week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that 60 to 100 Ukrainian soldiers are dying in combat every day, with about 500 more wounded.

Russia’s last publicly-released figures for its own casualties – which haven't been updated since 25 March – stated that 1,351 soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded, although Western and Ukrainian military intelligence say the Kremlin was vastly understating its own losses.

Now, it's being reported that 'several thousand' dolphins are being found dead on the coasts of Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.


Although these reports, from the New York Times, are currently unconfirmed, what we do know is the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV) has found that the war has had a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of dolphins in the Black Sea.

The researchers wrote: "Due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the safety of sea, food, biodiversity and environment in the Black Sea are in danger.

"TUDAV suggests a regional monitoring program in order to examine the present and future negative effects of the war on marine environment."


It added: "A war occurring in a semi-closed sea like the Black Sea affects the wildlife negatively in many ways.

"This sea is already a place where overfishing is evident, negative effects of climate change especially due to non-indigenous species are seen, land-based pollutants and eutrophication (food increase in seawater) occur.

"After all these experiences, there is a war now and now we shall unfortunately witness a crisis in biodiversity.

"Rare and endangered animal and plant species and changing of the water budget of the Black Sea due to “Bystroe Canal” (120 meters wide and 8 meters deep) which is made by Ukraine in the Danube River can be added to all of these ecological disasters."


It went on: "The destruction done and will be done to the ecosystem by flammable, caustic, toxic, radioactive and explosive ammunition used in this war which got mixed with soil, water and then sea resulting from frequent bombings.

"Because of this, TUDAV suggests that the Black Sea countries and relevant specialist establishments of the United Nations should examine the situation in terms of the environmental destruction by the war in a joint commission and inform the public before it is too late.

"Along with marine pollution, ship noise and low frequency sonars are known to be a serious threat to the marine species, especially to dolphins, which utilize underwater sounds actively to feed and navigate."

As things stand, sixteen species of whales and dolphins are considered to be in danger of extinction according to the Endangered Species Act.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Ukraine, Russia