Azerbaijani Institute: Sprat population in Caspian Sea decreases by nearly 10 times
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 12
By Ilhama Isabalayeva - Trend: The number of sprats and sturgeons that are feed on sprats has decreased by approximately 10 times in the Caspian Sea. In addition, the number of seals has shrunk in the Caspian Sea, Director of Fisheries Research Institute of Azerbaijan's Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry Mehman Akhundov said on Nov.12.
The director said that according to the long-term dynamics, the number of sprats has decreased by 8-10 times and 5-6 times in South and North parts of the Caspian Sea respectively.
"Currently the number of zooplanktons and sprats has decreased by around 10 times in the Caspian Sea compared to 1999-2000. This process continues for almost ten years. The reduction in sprat population has led to the decrease of sturgeons and seals that are feed on sprats by almost ten times. Currently the Caspian Sea resembles a sick organism," Akhundov said.
Ilham Alekperov, Director of the Institute of Zoology of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) told Trend that as a result of mnemiopsis impact, the beluga population has declined even more.
According to Alekperov, the existence of mnemiopsis in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea had a maximal negative impact on fish population in the waters adjacent to the territory of Lankaran region.
"The salinity degree of the sea water is higher there which creates a favorable environment for habitation of mnemiopsis. But the salinity degree decreases closer to the North. Nevertheless, the situation has relatively stabilized and sprat population has recovered to its previous level," Alekperov said.