WWF-Russia requested official source data on samples collection in Kamchatka
At the end of September, when the news about an unusual environmental situation in the waters near southeast Kamchatka became well-known far beyond the region, various government agencies and independent organizations collected samples of water, soil and biological materials. WWF-Russia’s experts analyzed all publicly available data and posted an interactive map showing the exact places of
- where the samples were collected;
- where dead marine animals were washed out onshore;
- where known sources of possible artificial contamination are located.
WWF-Russia believes that some data could have been missed and/or not taken into account properly. That is why WWF-Russia sent letters to the Governor of the Kamchatka krai, to the Federal Fishery Agency, and the Russian Academy of Sciences requesting to provide raw, source data on the samples’ composition. In particular, experts need to analyze information on the species and quantitative composition of phytoplankton samples, toxicological data on substances and their concentration in collected samples.
WWF-Russia's experts are not yet ready to support any of the two main versions of the ecological crisis off the coast of Kamchatka. It is important to continue research and completely exclude anthropogenic influence as the cause. If, in the end, the natural cause of the extraordinary situation is confirmed, it will certainly be interesting for Russian and foreign scientists. A thorough comprehensive analysis will help in better understanding of similar phenomena in the World Ocean, which, however, have not led to such large-scale negative impact on benthic species ever before.