Preparations For Illegal Sale Of 13 Killer Whales From Russia To China Underway-Greenpeace

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Preparations for Illegal Sale of 13 Killer Whales From Russia to China Underway-Greenpeace

Preparations for selling 13 killer whales, added to the Red Book, to China are underway in Russia, the Russian office of Greenpeace told Sputnik on Wednesday, adding that 15 killer whales had already been sold to China over the past five years

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th October, 2018) Preparations for selling 13 killer whales, added to the Red Book, to China are underway in Russia, the Russian office of Greenpeace told Sputnik on Wednesday, adding that 15 killer whales had already been sold to China over the past five years.

Commercial killer whale fishing has been banned since 1982, when the International Whaling Commission introduced a related moratorium. Killer whale fishing in Russia is allowed only for educational and scientific purposes. In 2018, the Far Eastern killer whale population was included into the Red Book of the Russian Kamchatka Region.

"Dirty business involving rare killer whales is being done under the guise of education and culture. Preparations for export of 13 killer whales from Russia to China are currently underway. While they were allegedly caught for educational and cultural purposes in 2018, in fact, this is a question of commerce, and immense profit is at stake. One can make several millions of Dollars on one killer whale," the Russian office of Greenpeace told Sputnik.

The office added that at least 11 out of these 13 killer whales were currently at a boarding facility in the vicinity of the city of Nakhodka, located in the Russian Far Eastern Primorsky Territory.

Amirkhan Amirkhanov, the acting head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Use of Natural Resources, the Russian environmental watchdog, told Sputnik that organizations possessing a right for fishing for cultural and educational purposes could submit a request for marine mammals export abroad. He added that from the formal point of view, in this case the killer whales were not sold to China, but let on lease instead.

"We are investigating this problem. As the coastal command of the border guard is obliged to monitor biological resources procurement in the sea, it has requested us to provide materials, and we are sending them copies so that they study them. Obviously, we will define a common stance on the economical practicability and the legitimacy of this move," Amirkhanov said.

Russian law enforcement agencies have repeatedly investigated illegal killer whales sales. In June, the Office of the Russian Prosecutor General launched a criminal investigation into illegal sales of seven killer whales.

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