[MARMAM] Alexey Yablokov, 1933-2017

Phillip Clapham - NOAA Federal phillip.clapham at noaa.gov
Tue Jan 10 14:44:59 PST 2017

It is with great sadness that I report the death of Alexey Yablokov earlier
today.  He was 83.

Born in Russia in 1933, Alexey V. Yablokov was a distinguished zoologist
with the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and a prominent Russian
environmentalist.  He was an advisor to Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev
and was the Special Advisor for Ecology and Health to President Boris
Yeltsin.  For over three decades, Yablokov sounded the alarm on
environmental concerns across Russia and the former USSR and, more
recently, worldwide.  He was extensively involved with the Chernobyl
disaster and with nuclear proliferation issues.

Within the marine mammal field, Alexey is perhaps best remembered for his
exposure of the extensive campaign of illegal whaling conducted by the
former USSR.  Following the end of the Cold War, in a speech at the Tenth
Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in 1993, Yablokov
revealed that the Soviet Union had been illegally killing large numbers of
whales over a period of thirty years, beginning in 1948 (the number of
unreported catches turned out to be almost 180,000).  Following this,
Yablokov organized a group of former Soviet scientists to use formerly
secret whaling industry data to correct the catch record for the Antarctic.

In the mid-1990s, he founded the independent Center for Russian
Environmental Policy in Moscow so that he would have a NGO platform to
raise environmental awareness.  Yablokov’s role in the formation and
leadership of the Russian Marine Mammal Council had a tremendous impact on
fostering the current generations of marine mammal scientists in Russia and
other former Soviet countries, especially through the conference series on
Marine Mammals of the Holarctic.

Alexey was a giant in the field, and he will be much missed.

Phil Clapham
Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D.
Leader, Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program
Marine Mammal Laboratory
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115, USA

Associate Editor, *Royal Society Open Science*

tel 206 526 4037
email phillip.clapham at noaa.gov
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