Caspian Sea and its Ecological Challenges


Dept. of Fisheries Science, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Somehsara, Iran. *Corresponding author's E-mail:


Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on the earth. Since the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991 and discovering large oil and gas fields, some issues such as political, economic and environmental events, made the Caspian Sea important. The ecology of the Sea are being endangered due to several issues such as petroleum extraction, river and sea pollutions, water level rise, biological damages, decline of Caspian seals and lack of legal regime among the neighbors. Tremendous infrastructures have had serious impacts on the ecosystems around the Caspian Sea and have often imposed long term damages to the sea. Activities around the Caspian Sea endangered the balance of this very sensitive and fragile ecosystem. Large oil stains on the sea level and thousands of acres of soil contaminated by oil leaking from abandoned wells are some parts of the pollutions. Some people must endure to the Caspian borders. In addition, there are various pollution-related industries, especially chemical and mineral industries, large non-irrigated agricultural and also domestic wastes. These impurities in addition to the negative impact of oil have serious effects on human welfare and wildlife of the area. Ecological balance of the Caspian Sea is nearly going to be ruined (?fendieva & M. Dzhafarov 1993). The increase of pollutions in the area has made many problems. The negative effects of shipping activities, oil and gas extraction and oil transport through the sea, have always been problematic. Destruction of flora and fauna are of the consequences of pollution. Finally, exploitation of Caspian Sea oil and gas provide the new challenges about the ecosystem of the environment. The natural resources of environment are the source of potential wealth. So they can easily increase the conflict for example legal aspects between neighbors as well as the risk of security in the region.
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