Release Of Orcas, Belugas From Russia's 'Whale Jail' Not Yet Urgently Needed - NGO

(@ChaudhryMAli88)

Release of Orcas, Belugas From Russia's 'Whale Jail' Not Yet Urgently Needed - NGO

The estimated nine months during which killer whales and belugas have been held in enclosures in Srednyaya Bay in Russia's Far East are not yet a critical period for their release into the wild as marine mammals have successfully returned to their natural habitat after even more time in captivity, Adviser to French ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and Executive Director of Whale Sanctuary Project Charles Vinick told Sputnik

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) The estimated nine months during which killer whales and belugas have been held in enclosures in Srednyaya Bay in Russia's Far East are not yet a critical period for their release into the wild as marine mammals have successfully returned to their natural habitat after even more time in captivity, Adviser to French ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau and Executive Director of Whale Sanctuary Project Charles Vinick told Sputnik.

"We think, but don't know, that they have been captive for around nine months. Marine mammals have been successfully released back to the wild after longer periods in captivity," Vinick said.

Vinick also stressed that is was essential to eventually release the killer whales and belugas into the ocean to let them join adult members of their species.

"Most, if not all, of these cetaceans are young. They are not adult orcas and belugas. Therefore it is important to release them in their home waters and where adult members of their populations are. Members of our team have had this kind of experience," the executive director said.

Vinick noted that the marine mammals must undergo a medical examination before being released into the wild and the release operation itself must be worked out in detail because a lot of other animals inhabit Srednyaya Bay.

"It is noteworthy that there are large number of animals in Srednyaya Bay and this means that a transport program to return them to their home waters is a significant operation that must be carefully planned and implemented, after the health of the animals has been evaluated," Vinick said.

The Whale Sanctuary Project head added that the organization, whose representatives are planning to arrive in Russia, were focused on helping Russian experts with the mammals' release.

Meanwhile, Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of renowned French ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, said earlier in March that he intended to visit the bay to help return the animals to the ocean.

The story about over 100 killer whales and belugas being held in deplorable conditions in the so-called whale jails in Srednyaya Bay made headlines last fall after Greenpeace sounded the alarm and warned that the animals were allegedly destined for export to China.

A probe has been launched into the illegal fishing of aquatic animals and animal abuse.

Related Topics

Your Thoughts and Comments