From October 5 to 12, within the framework of «Baikal Without Nets» project, the third research expedition took place. This time it proceeded to the north of Lake Baikal. The main task of the expedition was to study the water area of the lake, uncovered during the previous two stages, for network pollution.
The chartered vessel left the Kurkut tract of the Small Sea Strait to the city of Severobaikalsk and proceeded back, having conducted a number of dives along the way. Each of the three professional divers made sixteen dives, exploring Lake Baikal for sunken fishing nets and lifting discovered fishing gear.
The dives were made near the capes of Shartla, Zavorotny and Elokhin, near the city of Severobaikalsk, as well as in the waters of the Strait of the Small Sea. No sunken nets were found in some parts of the lake’s water area (Cape Shartlay and Yelokhin). However, for example, a lot of sunken fishing nets were found in the Severobaikalsk area. According to experts who took part in all the expeditions, there are more networks in the Severobaikalsk area than in the village area Big Cats or along the Circum-Baikal Railway.
During the October stage of the expedition, divers raised two dozen sunken fishing nets. The nets were raised after preliminary cleaning under water from living and non-living aquatic organisms. The net weight of the raised nets was about 300 kg. The raised fishing gear was packaged in high-strength bags and transferred to a local regional operator for further disposal.
Experts are starting to draw up a map of the network pollution of Lake Baikal and analytical work. The results of laboratory tests are expected in early December.
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.