Sunday, 28 April 2019

Russia moves to free nearly 100 captive whales after outcry

Decision coincides with visit to enclosure by French marine expert Jean-Michel Cousteau
Reuters in Moscow
Mon 8 Apr 2019 11.17 BSTLast modified on Tue 9 Apr 2019 00.50 BST
Russian authorities have decided to free nearly 100 whales held in cages in the country’s far east, according to reports.
Images of the whales, kept in cramped enclosures in a bay near the Sea of Japan port city of Nakhodka, first appeared last year, triggering a storm of criticism.
The animals had been captured by a company that planned to sell them to China but the Kremlin intervened and ordered local authorities to find a way of freeing them.
After months of delays, the decision to release the whales coincided with a visit to the enclosures by the French oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the famous marine expert Jacques Cousteau.
“An official decision has been taken to release all the animals into the wild,” Oleg Kozhemyako, the governor of the Primorsky region, was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying. “Scientists from Cousteau’s team and Russian scientists will decide when and which animals to release.“

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