Lake Baikal, half way between Moscow and Tokyo, known as the blue eye of Siberia, is the oldest and most isolated lake in the world.
The industrial development that has grown around the lake has disturbed the ecosystem and is a serious threat, not only to the whole of the original habitat but also to the populations that have recently settled there. The pollution of the air and water has reached the limits of an ecological disaster. About five to six thousand seals used to be shot every year but now they are in serious danger of becoming extinct. In 1987 a kind of epidemic paralyzed at least two thousand of them. The prospects for all the local and migratory fauna are just as depressing. So far there has been a lot of discussion but nothing has been done to prevent this forbidden degradation.