Around 100 cetaceans have been kept in a place that is too small inside a series of tiny enclosures off Russia’s Pacific coast, near the southeastern city of Nakhodka.
Totally, 11 orcas and 90 beluga whales are being kept in what activists are now calling a “whale jail”, which is absolutely illegal. According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, it is the largest number of marine animals to be held in such a way and prosecutors are said to be investigating whether the orcas and belugas are being kept in the tiny enclosures illegally.
‘Whale prison’ discovered by drone in Far East Russia pic.twitter.com/gkZBVmYwVp
— RT (@RT_com) November 8, 2018
Caught and sold to China
It has evidence that these species have been caught and kept for commercial purposes. It has been planned to sell off to ocean theme parks in China at a high price, according to the telegraph, An Orca whale can reportedly fetch more than $6 million in the booming ocean theme park industry in neighboring China. There are more than 60 marine parks in China, and at least a dozen more are under construction.
Public prosecutors are still searching the truth behind this scene in order to find out whether these cetaceans have been caught for scientific or educational purposes, as the companies say it is for scientific and educational purposes. (This is despite the fact that the footage clearly shows many more cetaceans than the 13 they reportedly received permission to capture earlier this year.) Lawyers have also put an effort to examine the conditions they are being kept in, which Greenpeace Russia has described as “torture”.
It was evident that a number of orcas and belugas spotted while the tanks may also contain infants, which is entirely off-limits, this is not acceptable even for scientific and educational purposes.
As per the experts, the scale of this activity is not just harmful to the cetaceans held in the enclosures but also for the future of this species.
“Catching them at this tempo, we risk losing our entire orca population,” Greenpeace Russia research coordinator Oganes Targulyan told The Telegraph.
“The capture quota now is 13 animals a year, but no one is taking into account that at least one orca is killed for everyone that is caught.”