Oil leaked from unidentified vessel and caused water pollution at the approach to the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea. The oil spot was found and reported by the Russian cargo ship Volgobalt-242, which found the pollution during passage of the strait in evening on February 3. The oil spot had length of 500-650 m and width of 200-250 m, drifting in north direction. The environment protection procedures were activated and at the scene were dispatched hazmat teams with water cleansing equipment. The calm weather and lack of winds did not allowed of the oil stop to adrift to the shore. The clean-up operations were completed successful on the next day and the traffic through the Kerch Strait was not seriously affected.
The local authorities initiated investigation for the source of the oil leak. The vessel, which caused the water pollution was not identified, but authorities will trace and inspect all the vessels, which proceeded through the strait. According to preliminary information, the oil leak was after discharging of sludge from vessel proceeding through the strait in recent 6 hours before finding it. The official statement of Rosmorrechflot says that the water pollution did not affected the marine life and the local environment.
Kerch Strait connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, separating the Kerch Peninsula of Crimea in the west from the Taman Peninsula of Russia’s Krasnodar Krai in the east. The fishing is important for the local economy, as several fish-processing plants are located on the Crimean coast.