More than 100 dolphins have been dumped off Turkey’s coast since February, an extremely high death toll from previous years, said Ugur Ozsandikci, a leading researcher on marine life at Sinop University in Turkey’s southern Crimea. Dolphins have been observed to be unusual in other Black Sea countries. Local marine biologists suspect that the main cause of death of dolphins is noise pollution from warships in the north, BGNES reported. 360p geselecteerd als afspeelkwaliteit Low-frequency sonar of warships and submarines directly interferes with dolphin echolocation, said Pavel Goldin, a marine biologist who specializes in dolphin studies at the Institute of Zoology in Ukraine. Unable to orient themselves, dolphins cannot identify their prey and therefore cannot hunt. The sonar confuses them and they panic, reluctantly hitting rocks or going to the beach. Some also hit sea mines.
It can take months or years to fully investigate the causes and extent of recent dolphin deaths, with much of the coastline inaccessible to researchers due to the war. However, these deaths and the like, caused directly by the war in Ukraine, could create a “biodiversity crisis,” the Turkish Marine Research Foundation has warned. Noise pollution can also disrupt fish populations and force them to migrate far away, Goldin warns. This disrupts the local ecosystem. Dolphins are at the forefront of the Black Sea’s food system, and their death could threaten entire subpopulations and could take many years before their populations resume.