Whale and dolphin experts, including those from WDC have issued a joint letter to the Russian Federal Service for the Management of Natural Resources amid concerns about proposals being considered for the live capture of whales and dolphins for sale to captivity theme parks in Russia and other countries.
Species proposed for capture in Russian waters in 2020 include Pacific white-sided and bottlenose dolphins, as well as long-finned pilot whales and belugas.
Recently Russian authorities were asked by international experts to take action to free a large group of belugas whales and orcas that had been captured from the wild and kept in cramped conditions in what became known as a ‘whale jail’. A letter was sent to President Putin at the time and some of the whales have since been returned to the wild, however the situation surround the future of many of those captured is still far from clear.
International condemnation of the conditions the belugas and orcas were held in led to the Russian Deputy Prime Minister stating that changes would be made to the law to ban live captures of whales, and so these latest developments surrounding 2020 quota numbers now raise serious concerns.
The latest letter to Russian authorities seeks clarification and calls for a permanent end to captures of whales and dolphins for captive display in theme parks.