VLADIVOSTOK, November 12. /TASS/. The Amur Basin Nature Protection Prosecutor’s Office has filed a court claim to outlaw permits that have been issued by the Federal Agency for Fishery to capture beluga whales, orcas and walruses for the Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Center in Srednyaya Bay, the prosecutors told TASS on Tuesday.
In May 2019, the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk City Court recognized as illegal a number of decisions by the Federal Agency for Fishery that determined the permissible amount of orcas and beluga whales for capture in 2018, the distribution of quotas for their capture and the approval of fishery plans for educational purposes. In addition, Vladivostok’s Frunze District Court recognized that White Whale LLC, Afalina LLC, Sochi Dolphinarium LLC and the Oceanarium of the Far East, which captured the specified animals, violated fishing rules.
"The statement urging that the permits for capturing beluga whales, orcas and walruses by the local department of the Federal Agency for Fishery be deemed illegal is being studied by the Arbitration Court of the Khabarovsk Region," the Amur Basin prosecutors reported. According to the court case register, the court received the claim on October 10, and a preliminary hearing started on November 11 that will last until November 18.
Whale of a saga
Ninety beluga whales and 11 orcas caught for sale to China had been kept in the Primorsky Region’s Srednyaya Bay, since the summer of 2018, but later three beluga whales and one orca got lost. According to investigators, during the whales’ capture, violations were detected and a criminal case on the illegal seizure of bioresources was launched.
In June, the gradual transportation of the marine mammals to the north of the Khabarovsk Region began for their release into the wild in groups. The last batch was released in the Primorsky Region on November 10.
The Marine Mammal Rehabilitation Center in Srednyaya Bay reported in March that six walrus calves who are also kept there were captured and are being held there on legal grounds, and no investigation into them was carried out.