A top environmental expert says 90 percent of the fish in the Caspian Sea have been destroyed.

The Bahar daily reports that Hooshang Ziyayi said: “Due to deforestation in the Caspian Sea region and soil erosion, many of the rivers where fish from Caspian Sea would spawn have dried out or become so polluted that millions of fish are now being lost each year.”

Ziyayi also blamed continued soil erosion for the increase in flooding in the region.

Ziyayi pointed the finger at the many large corporations that have been exploiting the forests of northern Iran, saying they are responsible for the loss of wildlife and vegetation variety in the region.

In May of this year, the deputy head of the Environment Department of Iran said pollution in the Caspian Sea is cause for deep concern.