On July 25, 2021, the first stage of the independent scientific research expedition started. It will last until August 5, 2021. The expedition is organized by the Irkutsk Regional Environmental Public Organization «Glubina Otvetstvennosti» (IREOO «Depth of Responsibility») and the Lake Baikal Foundation for Environmental Applications and Research. The scientific partner of the project is the P. P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS), with which a corresponding cooperation agreement was signed the day before.
Nowadays, there is no data on fishnet pollution of Lake Baikal, as well as on the consequences of such pollution. During the expedition, the participants will study the coastal zone of Lake Baikal for littering the lake with sunken fishing nets. Divers will take samples of water and biomaterial in the places of accumulation of nets and extract them to the surface. One part of the samples will be studied directly on board by the staff of the IO RAS, the other part will be sent for analysis to the specialized laboratories of the Federal State Budgetary Institution «Center for Laboratory Analysis and Technical Measurements» and the laboratories of the St. Petersburg Scientific Research Center for Environmental Safety of the Russian Academy of Sciences. As a result of the project, a map of the largest accumulation of sunken nets in the coastal zone of Lake Baikal will be compiled.
The expedition is being implemented within the framework of «The Baikal Without Fishnets» project. The project was made possible thanks to the support of the partners of Lake Baikal Foundation: Henkel and the World Around You Foundation of the Siberian Wellness Corporation. An important moment was the victory of Lake Baikal Foundation in the grant competition for non-profit organizations «Support Will Come», held jointly by Tinkoff Bank and the Foundation «Help Needed», which added 1,992,320 rubles to the project’s budget. Thus, the total fund of the project amounted to 3,562,480 rubles. In addition to the expedition, the project includes a comprehensive study of the problem of network pollution on Lake Baikal, as well as the preparation of proposals and recommendations for solving this problem. The results of the project will be published by the end of December 2021.
The Foundation’s position on issues related to the project may not coincide with the opinion of all its participants and will be based solely on scientific data obtained after its completion.