Investigative Committee Launches Probe into Far East Seawater Pollution

Russian investigators have begun a probe into potential seawater pollution in Kamchatka after reports that a large number of sea animals washed up dead on the shore, the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said on Saturday, Sputnik News reported.

“The Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Kamchatka region is conducting a procedural check in light of media reports about the large-scale fatalities of sea animals in the area near Avacha Bay in Kamchatka,” the regional branch of the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

According to the results of preliminary tests, increased concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons and phenols were observed in seawater off the coast of Kamchatka. Eyewitnesses in the region allege that they saw a change in the color of the water over recent days.

Specialists have taken additional samples of seawater, air, and sand from the affected areas, and extensive laboratory tests are being conducted, the Investigative Committee said.

As many as 20 surfers have said that they showed signs of poisoning after entering the sea in the affected region over recent days. Photographs allegedly showing dead octopuses and seals on the shore have also been shared online.