WWF-Russia URGES MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT TO PROTECT MARINE MAMMALS
"It is obvious that sea inhabitants feel the impact of human economic activity more and more with each passing year. This trend can be devastating to the state and abundance of species and entire populations of marine mammals, including those on the Red List of the Russian Federation," explains Tatyana Shuvalova, Head of the Regulation of Environmental Protection and Nature Management Program at WWF-Russia. "The Fund conducted a study, identifying the most vulnerable habitats of marine mammals that require special attention. However, in some cases, it is extremely difficult to find the appropriate legal form of protection for each specific area. This is partly due to the lifestyles of the animals themselves. Walruses, narwhals, sea otters, sea lions, and other marine mammals can migrate to new resting, feeding, and breeding grounds. Moreover, these territories, which are of vital importance to animals, are relatively small in area, quite great in number, and are only populated by marine mammals at certain times of year. Due to these factors, it is not always reasonable to create full-fledged specially protected natural areas (PAs) on such marine and coastal territories. At the same time, in many cases, other forms of territorial protection are simply unavailable due to a lack of a clear legal mechanism for their implementation. Among such "gray" forms of environmental protection are the so-called no-navigation zones. It is against this background that we count on the help of our colleagues from the ministry and are confident that together we will be able to protect Russian marine mammals."