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Sturgeon catch in the Caspian Sea and caviar imports Sturgeon catch in the Caspian Sea and caviar imports
The sturgeon – sought for its caviar – has declined dramatically in what is now a heavily illegal trade. To reduce the illicit trade in any wildlife, responses must include front line protection, customs control, investigation and prosecution of networks and targeted consumer awareness programmes as well as general awareness to the local populations on the threats posed to their local economy, food security and sustainability.
19 Jun 2014 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, GRID Arendal
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Total sturgeon catch in the Caspian Total sturgeon catch in the Caspian
Six sturgeon species are found in the Caspian Sea and its drainage basin: Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii), Persian sturgeon (A. persicus), Stellate sturgeon (A. stellatus), Ship sturgeon (A. nudiventris), Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) and Beluga (Huso huso). The bulk of the world’s remaining stock of wild sturgeon resources is found in the Caspian, which also accounted in the past for between 80 and 90 per cent of total world caviar ...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Historical decline of the Caspian seal (Pusa caspica) Historical decline of the Caspian seal (Pusa caspica)
It is unclear how many seals remain in the Caspian Sea. From a population estimated at more than one million in the early years of the twentieth century, population estimates now vary between 110 000 and 350 000. For more than 100 years, hunting of seal pups was carried out in the frozen North Caspian area each winter. In the early twentieth century, nearly 100 000 seals were hunted each year; later a quota was set at 40,000 pups per year, furt...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) abundance variation in the Caspian Sea Comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) abundance variation in the Caspian Sea
One Comb jelly species has been introduced into the Caspian Sea – Mnemiopsis leidyi. The invasion of this jelly during the late 1990s represents one of the main environmental issues in this unique ecosystem, and is considered as one of the world’s major marine ecosystem invasive species occurrences.
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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How the comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) is spreading in the European seas How the comb jelly (Mnemiopsis leidyi) is spreading in the European seas
One Comb jelly species has been introduced into the Caspian Sea – Mnemiopsis leidyi. The invasion of this jelly during the late 1990s represents one of the main environmental issues in this unique ecosystem, and is considered as one of the world’s major marine ecosystem invasive species occurrences.
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Hazards in and around the Caspian Hazards in and around the Caspian
The map highlights the various environmental hazards around the Caspian Sea.
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Pesticides and heavy metals in sediments Pesticides and heavy metals in sediments
Several pollutants such as HCB, DDT and lindane were investigated during the 2001 survey. Generally, concentrations were low, except that of DDT and its compounds which exceeded NOAA quality standards at a number of locations in Azerbaijan and Iran. The Kura River was identified as a main source of such contamination (Mora and Sheikholeslami 2002). Furthermore, according to the same survey, lindane concentrations exceeded the Canadian (ISQG) sedi...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Discharge of selected pollutants Discharge of selected pollutants
Data referring to the Biological Oxygen Demand load (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS), total nitrogen and total phosphorus levels were available for all five of the Caspian countries through the Baseline Inventory Report.
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Oil production, consumption and export Oil production, consumption and export
Azerbaijan has been widely recognized as an oil-producing country with the oldest field – the Balahani-Sabunchi-Ramani site – having started operations in 1871. It is only recently, with the development of the offshore Shah Deniz field from 1999 onwards, that the country became a major gas as well as oil exporter in modern times. The country’s oil and gas sector continues its development; recent results from exploration for oil at the Shah Deniz...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Oil production Oil production
Over the last 20 years, the Caspian Sea has become a focus of global attention. A worldwide decline in oil and gas reserves together with a rise in energy prices has heightened interest in an area where there is still growth potential in oil and gas exploration. At present, the Caspian Sea region is a significant, though not major supplier, of crude oil to the world market. For example, the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli oilfield in Azerbaijan is listed ...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Gas production, consumption and export Gas production, consumption and export
In terms of total world production, the Caspian accounts for 3.29% of oil production and 3.6% of gas production (BP 2009). The main focus of the oil and gas industry continues to be in the areas of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Fragmentation pf the Volga river over the last 60 years Fragmentation pf the Volga river over the last 60 years
The construction of several dams along spawning rivers (mainly the Volga River) significantly altered water flows and destroyed about 90 per cent of the sturgeon’s spawning grounds (UNEP/GRID-Arendal 2006).
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Changing Caspian Changing Caspian
At present, most scientists seem to agree that climate change plays a significant role in sea level fluctuations in the Caspian Sea, since temperature increases and changes in precipitation directly impact the overall water balance – termed total inflow and evaporation (Panin 2006).
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Caspian coastline vulnerable to flooding Caspian coastline vulnerable to flooding
This map depicts the Caspian coastline that is vulnerable to flooding.
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Regional land degradation Regional land degradation
Climate change-related land degradation or desertification is another phenomenon affecting all Caspian Sea littoral states. In the normal course of events, a lack of rainfall and extreme summer evaporation result in a high level of aridity in the Caspian Sea region, especially in coastal areas of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. But deserts and desertification are not limited to the eastern part of the Caspian Sea coastal zone. Land degradation ...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Selected impacts of climate change in the Caspian basin Selected impacts of climate change in the Caspian basin
The Caspian Sea, though a land-locked water basin not directly affected by global sea level rise, is being similarly impacted by climate change. The Caspian Basin plays an important role in atmospheric processes, regional water balance and also influences microclimates. Climatic phenomena in the Caspian Sea region are linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), with fluctuations in atmospheric air pressure affecting temperatures, moisture and...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Urbanisation on the Caspian shores Urbanisation on the Caspian shores
The population dynamics of the Caspian littoral states (US Census Bureau 2010) in 1992 – 2007 vary: while the overall population of Kazakhstan and Russia has declined by 7.6 and 4.8 per cent respectively, the population of Azerbaijan grew by 8.2 per cent, of Iran by 16.0 per cent and of Turkmenistan by 19.8 per cent. However, the total Caspian coastal population (including only administrative units contiguous to the Caspian Sea) gradually inc...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Protected areas in the Caspian basin Protected areas in the Caspian basin
The biological diversity of the Caspian Sea and its coastal zone makes the region particularly significant. One of the most important characteristics of the Caspian Sea’s biodiversity is the relatively high level of endemic species among its fauna (UNDP 2009b). The highest number of endemic species across the various taxa is found in the mid Caspian Sea region, while the greatest diversity is found in the northern section of the Caspian Basin. T...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Sea level rise in Anzali Lagoon, Iran Sea level rise in Anzali Lagoon, Iran
About 77,800 hectares are currently flooded in Iran as a result of sea level rise. Infrastructure is under threat. For example, the power station in Neka region has already been damaged. The rise in sea level has increased the hydrostatic pressure on the underground walls of the power station, and there is great concern that a storm surge may eventually flood the power station itself. The recent flood in Neka caused damage amounting to US$26.5 ...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Heavy metals in sediments Heavy metals in sediments
According to the first monitoring programme, 23 metals were found in Caspian Sea sediments. Some of the most significant results show: Arsenic (As) concentrations were fairly high in the region and, in some areas, exceeded the NOAA standard value of 8.2 µg/g nearly three times, with values of 22.6 µg/g in Azerbaijan, 20.1 µg/g in Iran, and 20.2 µg/g in Kazakhstan. Copper (Cu) dispersion in sediments was considerably lower in the North Caspian ...
17 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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