ST. PETERSBURG, June 7. /TASS/. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment carries out preparatory work to include the Far Eastern carnivorous killer whale in the Russian Red Book of Endangered Species. Russian Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Dmitry Kobylkin told TASS about it on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
Kobylkin earlier told TASS that the Far Eastern carnivorous killer whale should be put on the Russian Red Book. He noted that Russia is the only country in the world that permits the capture of these animals in its territorial waters. The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment will also prepare a proposal on the introduction of a zero total allowable catch for the capture of carnivorous orcas.
"Before making any changes [to the Red Book of Russia,] adding new animals, we will coordinate it with the science. As soon as we have sufficient scientific grounds… <…> The work is going on," the minister said, answering the question on the terms of the species’ introduction to the Red Book.
A group of 10 killer whales caught for sale to Russian and foreign marine mammal parks are staying in holding facilities in Srednyaya Bay, Primorsky Region. The Investigative Committee launched a criminal case on the illegal capture of these animals, and on Friday the court in Vladivostok fined a capturing company 28 million rubles ($430,000) (the verdict did not come into legal force) for violating capture rules.
Alexander Agafonov, scientist from the laboratory of marine mammals of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, said carnivorous killer whales are more often caught for sale to foreign marine mammal parks, as they can be found closer to the shore, where it is easier to catch them.