MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. Another group of beluga whales held in captivity in Srednyaya Bay in Russia’s Far East will be released into the sea next week, the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography said in a statement.
"The next stage of an operation to release the beluga whales into the Sea of Okhotsk will start next week. The operation will involve the Institute’s research vessels," the statement reads.
The number of whales in the group hasn’t been determined yet. It will take three to four days to deliver the mammals to Sakhalin Bay, where they will be turned loose into the wild.
As many as 14 beluga whales from Srednyaya Bay were released into the sea on October 2.
Since the summer of 2018, 90 beluga whales and 11 killer whales had been kept in Srednyaya Bay for sale to China. At some point, three beluga whales and one killer whale went missing. According to investigators, the mammals had been poached illegally.
In June, work began on moving the whales to the north of the Khabarovsk Region in order to release them into the wild. The first group of two killer whales and six beluga whales was turned loose into the sea on June 27. A total of ten killer whales and 26 beluga whales have been released into the wild so far, while 61 mammals still remain in Srednaya Bay.