According to CBS News, surfers in Kamchatka, Russia have complained that the ocean is so polluted it’s poisoning them. They believe the pollution could also be the source of thousands of dead animals along the coast.

Source: euronews (in English)/Youtube

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While Kamchatka is remote, it’s full of nature reserves and volcanos. An estimated 95% of marine life was killed in the seabed.

Yekaterina Dyba, a geographer who runs the Snowave Kamchatka surfing school, wrote recently on Facebook, “For several weeks now, all surfers have experienced problems with their eyes after returning from the water. White shroud, blurred vision, dryness. Sore throat. Many had nausea, weakness, high fever.”

After Greenpeace also reported the issue, a local investigation found high levels of petroleum products and other harmful chemicals in the water. Phenol, petroleum products, and other chemicals were all tested more than double acceptable levels in the area. The government said it did not know what was causing the pollution. State-run news reported that the dead wildlife and excessive chemicals could be due to a commercial oil tanker leak.

“Our guys went diving and they came back to surface with tears on their eyes! The entire seabed was full of dead animals’ corpses,” a local tour guide Kristina Rozenberg wrote on her Instagram page. “All of our underwater beauty is of gray and yellow colors, the fish looks like they’ve been boiling in hot water… and this is all happening just 200 meters away from the house I live in.”

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Read more news about Russia in One Green Planet, including a stunning report on a local forest, and the marine mammals that were freed from a whale prison in Russia. 

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