August 3, 2015
Atlantic Walrus Research continues
The R/V Kartesh is now at the Pechora Sea, between Vaygach Island and Dolgy Island. The Marine Mammal Council researchers together with the WWF experts were the first to examine the nutritive base of walruses in the area. The expedition participants took benthos [the community of organisms that live on, in, or near the seabed] samples in 15 different locations, and filmed the seabed with a remote-measuring submersible. The probes will be toxicologically tested for oil pollution.
Little has been known about the Pechora Sea walruses until now. However, vast development of the Arctic region and its oil and gas bearing potential signaled a wake up call for nature preservation experts. The Marine Mammal Council research indicated that walrus is the most vulnerable mammal in the region. The 2015 expedition research facilitates better understanding of biology and ecology of these unique animals, and discloses ways to save them.