A probable toxic spill at the Kamchatka Penisula beach has killed up to 95% of the marine life of the seabed. Local scientists have been investigating the seabed for weeks after local surfers had suffered from retina burns.
While the local authorities of the Kamchatka Penisula claimed that no toxic spill had taken place, the federal Investigative Committee of Russia launched a criminal probe. The committee launched a criminal investigation into possible hazardous substances and marine pollution.
“We took samples, conducted searches for dead animals, and carried out dives to examine the seabed. Our results showed that the condition of marine mammals and birds is normal. On the shore, we also found no signs of large deceased sea animals and birds. However, when diving, we found that at depths of 10 to 15 meters there was a mass death of marine life – 95% dead. Some large fish, shrimps, crabs have been preserved, but in very small numbers,” – said local researcher Ivan Usatov in the report.
This comes in stark contrast with the previous statements of Kamchatka’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology, which claimed nothing abnormal had been suspected. The statement drew social media attention towards the issue. Youtuber Yury Dud, a famous Russian vlogger, made drone shots of the area showing brownish layers on the water surface and numerous dead animals on the shore.
For now, it is unclear what exactly caused this mass starve-off of marine life. Samples taken from the area show a higher amount of phenol and petroleum than is normally found. The Defense Ministry denied the speculation that a military drill had gone afoul.