Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Minister talked about lack of control over the ecological situation at the Caspian Sea, Tengrinews.kz reports.
“We don’t have a serious scientific base for research of the Caspian Sea. We are more concerned over creation of a powerful monitoring system at the Caspian Sea, which we lack completely. For example, we know that seals have been dying and the tests show that there has been some kind of poisoning. But how has it happened and why? Nobody knows,” Minister Nurlan Kapparov told Majilis deputies.
“There is an issue of ships. 1,800 ships arrive to Aktau port every year. We have no limits on emissions, such as discharge of residual oil into the sea. They go out to sea and we don’t know what they are doing there, because we cannot monitor it. I have recently been to Russia and have seen the work of RosHydroMet. Of course, this is a far cry from us. They monitor everything. They have showed me everything that is happening in their part of the Caspian on a map. We don’t have such system, but we are planning to create it,” Minister said commenting the suggestion of deputy Serik Ospanov to create a scientific-research institute to deal with the Caspian issues.
According to Kapparov, Kazakhstan requires a powerful base to be able to response to possible oil spills.
“We will have serious consequences if an oil spill occurs at any of our fields in the Caspian Sea. They will be much more devastating than the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We have to monitor; we need a powerful base for oil spill response. We intend to work in this direction,” he added.
Environmental Protection Minister could not reply to the deputies’ question on the causes of saiga die-off in Kostanay oblast. He just reminded the version of Agricultural Ministry that the animals died of pasteurellosis. “This issue is not in our competency,” he added.
Many Majilis deputies were unsatisfied with Kapparov’s replies at the government meeting. Majilisman Yergen Doshayev tagged some of the Minister’s replies frivolous.
By Renat Tashkinbayev