Marine debris removal in caspian sea Marine debris removal in caspian sea

featurewild files: marine debris removal in the caspian sea

2016 • Kazakhstan

Tengizchevroil (TCO), a joint venture partnership formed in 1993 between the Republic of Kazakhstan and Chevron, began development of its Future Growth Project-Wellhead Pressure Management Project (FGP-WPMP), the next phase of expansion of the Tengiz Field – the world's deepest producing super-giant oil field.

Supporting and enhancing habitats for endangered species was at the forefront of their environmental planning and management strategies as TCO began development of FGP-WPMP.

The project required a cargo transportation route to be constructed 71 kilometers from the Northern Caspian basin to the Provra port, the location of a cargo offloading and storage facility.

actions taken

TCO identified removal of floating debris from the Caspian Sea as one of the key initiatives for its biodiversity action plan associated with FGP-WPMP.

TCO conducted a pilot debris removal project in October 2017 with support from: 

  • Kazakhstan's Mangystau Oblast Territorial Inspectorate of Forestry
    and Wildlife
  • Ghost Fishing Foundation, an international non-governmental organization (NGO)
Workers remove marine debris along the Caspian Sea coast

The pilot mission enabled the team of Kazakhstani inspectors and NGO workers to:

  • practice marine debris removal techniques
  • test equipment
  • assess the viability of the initiative

endangered sturgeons

First appeared during the Jurassic period, over 150 million years ago.

can live to be


years old




weigh up to



Female sturgeons are highly prized for their unfertilized eggs, which are pickled and sold as caviar.

Endangered sturgeon
Endangered sturgeon profile
Chevron team member saving a sturgeon from marine debris

Six species of sturgeons are found in the Caspian Sea. They depend on freshwater and use rivers feeding into the Caspian Sea for reproduction.


Marine debris removal activities conducted at sea and along the shoreline retrieved over 3,000 kilograms (6,613 lbs) of marine debris. 

Caspian Sea marine debris

53 live sturgeon were released from ghost nets as part of these efforts

suitable marine debris was recycled and used to create concrete for road and pavement repair

debris not suitable for recycling was disposed of properly

Future activities will include removal of ghost nets and other debris found in the northeast Caspian Sea and its shoreline.

endangered caspian seals

Endangered Caspian seals on Caspian coastline

Caspian seals are only found in the Caspian Sea. Their diet includes sculpins, gobies, herring, carp, smelt, and crustaceans.




can dive up to


meters (164 feet)




Our actions were consistent with our goal
to conserve biodiversity:
We strive to avoid or reduce the potential for significant impacts on sensitive species, habitats and ecosystems.

Wild Files is a series on that spans the world to cover interesting examples of how we deliver on our commitment to environmental stewardship.

Published: August 2018