Energy Minister comments on seals die-off in Caspian Sea

ASTANA. KAZINFORM Kazakh Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev has commented on the recent facts of the mass die-off of the Caspian seals, Kazinform correspondent reports.

During a reporting meeting with citizens, one of the guests asked the minister whether there was some correlation between the deaths of seals in the Caspian Sea and oil production.

"People usually correlate everything that happens in Mangystau and Atyrau regions to offshore production. There are lots of those who call themselves as ecologists. They live in Almaty and have never been to Mangystau. However, they instantly state that oilers are to blame for the seals die-off", the minister said.

According to him, there is no exact information on the fact that the seals died by oil companies' emissions. "Damaged skin covers were found during examination of the corpses. This evidence goes to prove that they were trapped in fishing nets, probably illegal ones. Such an explanation is quite possible too", Bozumbayev explained.

He advised that the specialists failed to perform more accurate expert examination because the corpses were heavily decomposed. Local veterinary service burnt them. "But if the die-off rates will be seriously high, we will respond very seriously", he added.

As reported before, no hazardous substances were found out in the samples taken after the mass die-off of the Caspian seals.

Recall that over 243 corpses of the dead seals were discovered in Tupkaragan district of Mangystau region in late April. The dead animals were washed up on the shore.

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