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‘Several hundreds’ of dolphins could have already died during Russia-Ukraine war, Black Sea scientists warn

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Scientists studying the Black Sea claim “several thousand” dolphins have died within the region throughout the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, sparking concerns in regards to the effect of the war on marine ecosystems within the region.

Ivan Rusev, research director at Ukraine’s Tuzla Estuaries National Nature Park, said in a Facebook post that the marine mammals were washing up on the coastline of the Black Sea bordering several countries, including Ukraine, Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania.

Pictures shared by Dr Rusev showed dolphins washed up ashore with what he claims are war-related injuries, including burn marks from bombs.

He said the marine mammals are continuing to clean up on the coastlines with burns from bombs and landmines, in addition to internal injuries, and likewise show signs of starvation.

“I emphasise once more that there have been serious casualties of the war amongst dolphins within the Black Sea in recent weeks,” Dr Rusev noted.

Based on data collected by his team in addition to other researchers across Europe, he said “several thousand” dolphins have already died amid the war in Ukraine.

“Evaluation of accessible data collected by us during three months of the war on the coast of our national park, in addition to on the materials of fresh open publications from Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and based on the private messages of my foreign friends and colleagues, we assume that on account of the cruel and insane war of racists within the Black Sea, from the start of the war until now, several thousand dolphins have already died,” Dr Rusev said.

“Barbarians kill not only civilised people but smart dolphins,” he added.

Last yr, a world team of greater than 100 scientists estimated that there could possibly be a few quarter of one million dolphins within the Black Sea, however it is unknown how a lot of these remain within the region now.

The Turkish marine research foundation had also raised an alarm in regards to the effects of the war on marine ecosystems in the realm.

“On account of the war between Russia and Ukraine, biodiversity, marine, food and environmental security are under threat within the Black Sea,” it said in a press release in April.

“Along with marine pollution, additionally it is known that intense ship noise and low-frequency sonars are a serious threat to marine species, especially dolphins using sound-activated ways,” the research foundation had warned, adding that oil and gas leaks from sunken military ships could also aggravate damages to the ecosystem.

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