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April 10, 2007 -- More than 300 dead seals have been found on Kazakhstan's Caspian Sea coast in the past 10 days.
The Environmental Protection Ministry says preliminary data suggest that the deaths were caused by abnormally warm temperatures, which have prevented the formation of ice in the northeastern part of the Caspian Sea.
Disease, pollution, hunting, and overfishing are believed to have driven the number of Caspian seals to some 100,000, from 400,000 in the 1980s.
(Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan)