Dead seals and marine animals wash up on beach in ‘catastrophic’ pictures

A suspected “ecological catastrophe” caused dead seals, octopus and starfish to wash up dead on a beach.

The carcasses were discovered on the shore, while surfers reportedly suffered chemical burns to their eyes from the possible sea pollution.

They said there was a strange smell and colour to the water along the Khalaktyrsky beach, a popular tourist spot in eastern Russia.

Experts are said to have found oil deposits and chemicals like phenol in water samples from the area.

Visitors who had gone into the sea are reported to have suffered from dry eyes, sore throats and blurred vision.

Others are said to have experienced vomiting and fever, symptoms which could suggest phenol poisoning.

The Russian Investigation Committee pledged to carry out an investigation into the "possible ecological disaster".

Environmental campaigners from Greenpeace demanded answers and warned it had caused “the poisoning of people”.

They said the dead marine animals highlighted how severe it was and urged investigators to find the source of what caused it.

An investigation into suspected pollution of the sea has been launched by the Environmental Prosecutor's Office in the Kamchatka region, according to the Independent.

Aleksey Kumarkov, acting minister of natural resources and ecology, revealed oil deposits and chemicals like phenol had been found in the water.

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Vasily Yablokov, Greenpeace Russia's climate project manager, said: “Pollution of the water area near Khalaktyrsky beach has already led to the death of marine animals and the poisoning of people.

“The unique nature of Kamchatka, the Unesco World Natural Heritage, is under threat.

“It is necessary to contain and prevent further pollution of the coastline as soon as possible.”

Ekaterina Dyba, an employee at a surfing school in the area, added: “Khalaktyrsky beach has always been a virgin piece of wild nature.

“Clear water and black volcanic sand is a unique ecosystem that is of great tourism and nature conservation value.

“This unique place is now under threat.

“The ocean, where surfers, kayakers, kiters, freedivers regularly visit, has become unsafe.

“It is still unclear how dangerous the current situation is for marine animals.”

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