Saturday, 29 September 2012

18 Beluga whales in captivity for shipment to Georgia Aquarium

Help WDCS stop 18 whales being condemned to imprisonment and an early death
September 2012. The US Georgia Aquarium is seeking to import 18 wild-caught belugas from the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia. Belugas in this area were subject to intensive hunting until the early 1960s and the population is still recovering. 

The Aquarium's excuse for the import request is that the captive beluga collection makes an important contribution to marine conservation and public education and is necessary to maintain the captive breeding population in the US.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) rejects these excuses
The commercial display industry plan to use Russian transport planes to carry the whales to Belgium - where the whales will undergo multiple transfers between shipment containers and airplanes before flying to the US and becoming the property of the Georgia Aquarium. This will subject the whales to considerable stress. Man-made noise like jet engines is a known stressor for whales, which have very sensitive hearing. It is simply not acceptable to put the whales through this - it is inhumane and violates the US Marine Mammal Protection Act.
They will be subjected to attempts at ‘breeding.' Yet, despite five decades of effort, the captive beluga breeding programme has been unsuccessful. As a result, the commercial captive industry seeks new whales to replenish its ‘stocks'.

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