Russian Ministry Invites French Oceanographer Cousteau To Help Orcas In 'Whale Jail'
Fakhir Rizvi 3 years ago Wed 27th March 2019 | 10:29 PM
Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has invited French ocean explorer Jean-Michel Cousteau, a son of renowned explorer Jacques Cousteau, to help the orcas and belugas that have been illegally caught and held in the so-called whale jail in Srednyaya Bay in Russia's Far East, the ministry said in a statement
"The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in coordination with the Russian Foreign Ministry, officially invited Jean-Michel Cousteau to join an expert working group [dedicated to the "whale jail" problem]. [The ministry] is ready to provide assistance in arranging the trip, for which ... the expected date of the visit and necessary documents were requested," the statement said.
The facilities where these marine mammals are being held made headlines in the fall after Greenpeace reported that preparations to sell 13 orcas in illegal captivity to China were underway. The organization also said that 15 orcas, which are on the Red List of Threatened Species, had already been sold to China over the past five years.
A probe has been launched into the illegal fishing of aquatic animals and animal abuse. Russian President Vladimir Putin has tasked the Environment Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture with deciding the fate of the confined animals.
In early March, the press service of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev said in a statement that Russia would open a rehabilitation center for sea mammals, including those from the whale jail, in one of Primorsky Territory's harbors to prepare them to be released back into the wild.