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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Black Sea Fish Dying

SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine () --Mounting pollution and heavy ship traffic have severely reduced the number of harvestable fish in the Black Sea and are threatening its commercial fishing industry, scientists warned Tuesday.

Marine biologists estimated the sea contained some 16,000 tons of marketable fish last year, down from 103,000 tons in 1975.

Anna Gordina, head of the fish ecology department at the Sevastopol Biology Institute, blamed the decline mostly on industrial pollution from coastal cities, particularly in Ukraine, Russia and Turkey.

But she also said the sea's ecological balance has been altered dramatically by bacteria brought in from other waters by visiting ships.