Join our zoo community

whales captured for zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by zooboy, 13 Mar 2019.

  1. zooboy

    zooboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    98
    Location:
    UK
    https://www.change.org/p/release-orcas-and-beluga-whales-from-the-whale-jail-in-srednyaya-bay
    I have been forwarded the above link with a petition to sign. I could not find any reference to this on Zoo Chat so apologies if this is not in the most appropriate forum. Can anyone give current information about the orcas, beluga and walruses mentioned and if they are destined for zoos and aquaria in China (or elsewhere) as the report suggests? Is this trade legal? Release of these animals successfully back into the wild would be a difficult thing to do; does anyone know who would conduct that and how?
     
  2. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    22 Sep 2014
    Posts:
    1,616
    Location:
    In the middle
    These petitions are often misleading and contain outdated or discredited claims, but Nakhodka is mentioned in this thread.

    Captive Orca News
     
  3. katinakalinakaterina

    katinakalinakaterina Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 May 2018
    Posts:
    141
    Location:
    England
    Always difficult with limited information regarding whales in Russia. For the past few years Russian companies have been capturing orcas and belugas from the Russian far east for sale to Chinese aquariums. There is footage available on YouTube of these captures and according to some sources they often result in the deaths of animals. Russia holds three captive orcas from these captures (Narnia, Nord and Juliet? (several names have been given to this animal) and China holds around 15 (Chimelong has 9, Wuxi has 2, Haichang has 4) Linyi potentially has 2 with the intent to display 4 and other aquariums set to open intend to display Russian orcas. There is very little information available about these animals.
    There have been several reports detailing the animals held at the TINRO centre, unfortunately I don't know anything about the walrus and little about the beluga other than there were around 90 some not yet at weaning age.
    Destined for China:
    The orca were likely meant for sale to China as above the demand is there and they can be sold for ridiculous amounts of money.
    Is this legal:
    Quotas (allowing the capture of) were issued for I believe 10 (possibly 13) orca to be captured but only for scientific research and educational purposes. Sale to Chinese aquariums does not fall under this category (I don't think but Russia may have different definitions).
    Release:
    One of the orca has disappeared (most likely died as he was in very poor condition) and the state of the others is unclear (a big issue is ice forming over the sea). Age is a factor for release as is locating familial groups (if they are still intact following capture operations) one option could be to attempt a soft release into a sea pen. Having been kept together the orca may have formed their own pod/family group which could help the potential release of the animals. There are several organisations dedicated to researching Russian orcas that may be able to assist in release but it could be that they are sent to aquariums if they are deemed unsuitable for release. Again I am not sure what the protocols are in Russia.
    Sorry if this has turned into an essay but it is an area I have been interested in and researching for years.
     
    zooboy likes this.
  4. Gavinj90

    Gavinj90 Active Member

    Joined:
    21 Jan 2019
    Posts:
    36
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Wouldn't any kind of zoo/aquarium technically be able to fall under the "education" banner?
     
    Kakapo likes this.
  5. katinakalinakaterina

    katinakalinakaterina Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 May 2018
    Posts:
    141
    Location:
    England
    I think the thing that has caused the problem is the selling and export of the animals as I think the quotas only cover research and education in Russia not profiting from the animals and shipping them overseas.
     
    Gavinj90 likes this.