New data have been obtained on the cause of the mass death of marine organisms in the Far East in Russia.
A major natural disaster has been suspected in Avachan Bay in the Pacific Ocean, with massive seabed organisms washed ashore and surfers in the water having suffered burns to their eyes.
On Monday, the rector of the state DVFU state university Dmitry Zemzov reported that the most likely cause of contamination would be toxic algae that have bloomed in the area. He refers to measurements made by a university research team. The matter is reported by a Russian news agency Interfax.
– As a result of the strong flowering of algae, the oxygen content in the water decreases and they produce toxins that can cause the described phenomenon.
Marine organisms have died in droves. Bottom surveys in the demarcated area estimated that as many as 90 percent of all seabed organisms were dead.
Algae have been presented in the past as a possible explanation. However, it was considered more likely that the nearby Kozelsk poison dump would have leaked over the crustaceans and eventually into the sea.
The district prosecutor’s office had found “obvious violations” at the landfill and a criminal case was filed. Also the governor of the area Maksin Solopov considered the landfill to be the most likely cause of the pollution, the online magazine says Jellyfish.
However, according to Zemzov, the theory of pollutants leaking from the landfill has not been confirmed by samples.
The team has investigated, among other things, the Nalycheva River, where toxins leaked from the landfill should have been found if they had ended up in the sea from the landfill. However, no abnormalities were found. On top of all that, organisms were found in the river that Zemzov said should not have survived if chemicals had leaked into the river from the landfill.
Environmental organization Greenpeacen the russian department has conducted bottom surveys showing that fish are lacking in areas where they should be. The organization says on its website on Monday that the organisms have died of hitherto unknown causes.
Plenty of yellow foam
Speaking in favor of the algae explanation, according to Zemzov, both activists and researchers observed a large area of yellow foam, which can cause algal blooms. Over the weekend, Interfax said it was reported that the Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry had found a toxic substance in the water and yellow foam that algae blooms can produce.
According to Zemzov, it is still open whether algal growth has developed naturally or as a result of human activity. It is also not known exactly what algae it is and what toxic substances have been released into the sea through it.
Formerly a doctor of biology at another research organization called RAN Vladimir Rakov had said Interfaxine in an interview that algae could not cause such severe deaths of marine organisms.
– In the cold waters of Kamchatka, toxic microalgae bloom very rarely. Besides, it would only cause the death of some marine organisms. This is probably a much stronger poison.
Mass dolphin death in Florida
However, similar cases have occurred in the past, and Guardian according to them they are on the rise.
In 2019, a hundred manatees, 127 dolphins and nearly six hundred sea turtles died during poison algal blooms in Florida.
In 2018, more than three hundred toxic algal blooms were observed around the world. Flowering is increasingly being linked to climate change and intensified agriculture.
In the summer of 2015, a massive bloom of toxic algae was observed on the west coast of the United States. Flowering was born Washington Postin record levels of potentially deadly and brain-damaging toxins.
A team of knowledgeable researchers concluded that the huge amount of algae would have been caused by a small amount of warm water that had ended up in the area as a result of variations in special but natural conditions. According to scientists, climate change could lead to an increase in such conditions and thus toxic algal blooms.
Authorities according to the Gulf of Alaska at that time 30 dead whales were found. The venom was suspected of contributing to the deaths, but this could not be definitively confirmed.