In the Barents Sea killing walruses

Death of walruses in the Arctic.  © Photo: WWF / Viktor MaslovMOSCOW, November 24 — RIA Novosti. Population of the rare species of walrus in the Barents Sea, the Atlantic — is necessary to protect the three threats of chemical pollution of water, loud noises and possible oil spill, told RIA Novosti, the coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia's oil and gas environmental policy Alexei Knizhnikov Thursday On the International Day walrus.

International Day of walrus celebrated on November 24. It was set up by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia and the Council on Marine Mammals in 2008.

"Among the key measures that must be taken to protect the walrus, are: to eliminate anxiety as animals, because flying the helicopter or the vessel's rookeries in the area is extremely frightening animals. Also necessary to minimize the chemical pollution of water — the walrus eats benthos organisms living on the sea bottom, filter water. If harmful substances will accumulate in the benthos, and then they get into the body of walruses. Third — guaranteeing that in the event of an oil spill Red Book species will not suffer, "- said the scribes.

According to the source, at the start of oil and gas activities in the south-eastern Barents Sea in connection with the development of the field "Prirazlomnoye" scientific evidence about the Atlantic walrus were very few. This prevented damage analyzes Red Book pinnipeds and specify areas that should be protected from interference industries.

"Platform" Prirazlomnaya "set up in August 2011, just at the center of the range of this species. More than two years ago, we realized that coming active development of so-called Pechora Sea, south-east of the Barents Sea, so then promptly organized a working group , which invited all institutions and scientists who are working to a walrus, "- said the scribes.

In the advisory council on the walrus are experts in the study and protection of rare animals, as well as representatives of mining companies that operate in the area of this species.

"Trying to build a dialogue with the oil companies is necessary. Clear that production will be carried out in any case, but we need to be one step ahead of the industrial development," — said the coordinator of the pilot projects of WWF-Russia Viktor Nikiforov.

In the summer of 2011 WWF Russia held satellite imagery habitats Atlantic walrus. The photos showed a rookery, numbering about 400 individuals in the island Vaigach, in the vicinity of the field "Prirazlomnoye".

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2012, plans to consider all of the Arctic walrus, which fall into two populations of Red Book — Atlantic and the Bering Sea.

Total population of Atlantic walruses in the Russian part of the Arctic it is estimated that not more than two thousand. This subspecies of pinnipeds in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, where he was assigned to category II (numerically small species), the IUCN Red List (IUCN) and the list of Canada's Endangered Species Act.

"Prirazlomnoye" oil field discovered in 1989 on the Pechora Sea (which lies within the Barents Sea), is located at a distance of 60 kilometers from the coast. Recoverable oil reserves — 83.2 million tons, the development period — 25 years.

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