22 Seals Released from Plastic Debris on Commander Islands
19 Aug — 2022
22 Seals Released from Plastic Debris on Commander Islands

An expedition to free seals from plastic debris on the Commander Islands has finished.

It was organized by the Sakhalin non-profit organizations Boomerang Club and Friends of the Ocean together with the Commander Islands National Park and the Kamchatka branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund. The head of the expedition was the leading researcher of RAS Kamchatka branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography, Candidate of Biological Sciences Vladimir Nikolaevich Burkanov. The team included specialists of the Crocodile veterinary clinic (Kamchatka) and the crew of the sailing yacht "Iron Lady". One of the tasks of the expedition was to create a volunteer group to help marine animals on Kamchatka, therefore, volunteers from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky took part in the rescue work.

Спасение морского котика из пластиковых оков на шее

Northern fur seal rescue from plastic shackles around its neck

The expedition explored Severo-Zapadnoye and Severnoye rookeries on Bering Island and Yugo-Vostochnoye rookery on Medny Island. During the inspection of the rookery, we found more than 30 northern fur seals injured by plastic waste, 22 of which were freed from deadly collars. Among the released animals were young males and females. Rescuers used the technique of catching animals with a net, no sedatives were used. In some cases, traumatized animals required the assistance of a veterinarian who was on the rescue team.

The participants of the expedition noted a comparatively small number of traumatized animals on the rookeries of the Commander Islands, but many were upset by the abundance of waste on the shore. Remnants of fishing gear and packing rings that were potentially dangerous to marine animals could be found quite often on the rookeries. In Kamchatka Region the problem of seals getting entangled in plastic waste exsits. Although it is not as accute as on Sakhalin, you cannot turn a blind eye to it. Among thousands of northern fur seals, the 22 rescued animals may seem insignificant, but these are 22 lives saved and 22 reasons for people to start thinking and change the situation of marine pollution now.

Отлов запутанного морского котика с помощью сачка на Северном лежбище на острове Беринга

Catching an entangled seal with a net on Severnoye rookery on Bering Island

The beauty of Kamchatka nature impressed all the team members of the expedition, but this beauty requires protection and conservation. Waste does not appear in the ocean by itself, it becomes deadly to all living things because of our human irresponsibility. The team believes that today every one of us needs to manifest their ideas and to take part in nature conservation.  It is already not enough to simply put likes on social networks and admire beautiful photos.  Every day each of us can do the simplest things to correct to doing of the mankind and not to wait for "the mercy of nature".

When a wild beast caught and freed from a deadly trap is released back into nature, it snares, runs away and does not thank people for salvation at all. He needs a clean and safe sea. We all need a clean and safe planet!

Photos taken in the Commander Islands National Park

Contact person: Malygina Yulia 8-914-645-14-84

Заповедная Россия English

Заповедная Россия English