Black Sea: increase in dolphin stranding could depend on Ukrainian war



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Black Sea: increase in dolphin stranding could depend on Ukrainian war

On the coasts of the Black Sea dolphin beaching is increasing, and the cause of this biological massacre would depend on the war in Ukraine, unleashed by the Russian invasion, according to the Tudav marine protection foundation.

In the press of the foundation it is stated that about 80 dolphins and 50 porpoises have died. According to experts, the death of these cetaceans would have occurred due to the sonar of military ships, present in the Black Sea for military operations: the sonar of the ships would interfere with the echolocation that dolphins use to orient themselves.

Sounds that are too loud, such as those launched by military ships at great distances to intercept enemy submarines, can be excruciatingly lethal for dolphins as well as sperm whales. The same would have happened on the coasts of Bulgaria according to Dimitar Popov of the NGO Green Balkans.

Especially in the Black Sea

The coastal wetlands offer shelter to many marine species and are also an important transit and nesting point for numerous bird species. 75% of the birds present are concentrated in the Danube Delta area where the lesser shag, the red-necked goose, the white pelican, the curly pelican and the white-tailed eagle are found.

In the Black Sea there are four species of mammals: the monk seal, which is at high risk of extinction, and three species of dolphins, the bottlenose dolphin, the common dolphin and the porpoise. In the Black Sea there are 201 species of fish, mostly bony fish including 7 sturgeons while cartilaginous fish are very rare.

The fish fauna of the Black Sea is composed of a set of marine species from the Mediterranean Sea and fresh or brackish water species originating in the Paratethys, the latter more widespread in areas with less salinity. Particularly widespread are the gobies, with many endemic species, and the genus Alosa.

In the 1980s the alien ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi was introduced which caused a real ecological disaster and the collapse of the catch. Indeed, M. leidyi competes with the juvenile stages of fish by feeding on zooplankton and directly preys on the fish larvae.