Although the open see was yards away from them, they couldn’t swim freely because of being trapped in tiny sea pens.
Recently, Russian traders captured 90 belugas and 11 orcas from the ocean to sell them to marine parks, dolphinariums and swim-with-the-dolphin programs in China. These belugas and orcas are kept in tiny networked cages in Srednyaya Bay near Nakhodka, Russia as the traders work to give security to the buyers. A recently taken drone footage has shown how bad the conditions are inside the enclosures.
“The footage speaks for itself,” Oxana Fedorova, founder of Save Dolphins, a Russian organization that helps marine animals, said. “It is the ‘whale prison,’ but these belugas and orcas didn’t commit any crime.”
“It was absolutely heartbreaking to see these poor babies confined in such small enclosures, swimming in circles,” Fedorova added. “I can’t stop thinking about what they are going through.”
The video clearly shows the belugas but the orcas are not clearly seen. However, it is believed that they are kept inside the covered cages.
“They don’t want anyone to see them,” Fedorova said. “People who work at this facility are very aggressive. They even attacked a local animal activist last week and stole a memory card with pictures from her camera.”
Fedorova explains that some of the belugas may possibly have been put in transportation tanks and not even the sea pens. The most disturbing thing about this issue for Fedorova is the fact that most of the whales are young.
“This footage raises concern over the sustainability of such capture,” Fedorova said. “You can see 90 babies that were just taken from the wild, most likely from one population. How will this population reproduce when babies are being captured in such numbers every year? If the capture doesn’t stop, both belugas and orcas will be on the road to extinction, if not already.”
Fedorova wishes for the footage to be seen and shared widely in entire Russia and also international media so that people will get a proof to help them speak up about the problem.
“We hope it will create a huge backlash to stop the export of these amazing creatures to China or any other country and ban the capture once and for all,” Fedorova said. “Several Russian groups are working together and trying to push for a complete ban on capture.”
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