Over 100 Whales were discovered holed-up inside small enclosures near the Pacific coast of Nakhodka, Russia. Wildlife experts counted a total of 90 beluga whales and 11 orcas, also known as killer whales, that were being housed in underwater prisons. Such treatment of the aquatic animals could be illegal.
According to reports from the Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a wildlife organization based in the UK, this is the largest group of aquatic animals that have been known to be held captive this way.
‘Whale prison’ discovered by drone in Far East Russia pic.twitter.com/gkZBVmYwVp
— RT (@RT_com) November 8, 2018
Some ocean parks pay $6 million or more for just one whale.
China has over 60 marine-themed parks, and there are up to 12 more that are scheduled to open soon.
According to international law, whales can only be captured for scientific or educational purposes. Selling the animals to theme parks is illegal, but the law is routinely ignored. A strange loophole in international law does allow companies to rent whales, so this is one way that poachers are able to ply their trade.
The companies that imprisoned this large group of whales sold 13 orcas to Chinese Theme parks from 2013 to 2016. This information was gained via investigations from local media, including the investigative newspaper Novaya Gazeta.
Prosecutors are looking for evidence that proves the poachers are not holding the cetaceans for educational or research purposes, although the companies claim that they are.
The Greenpeace Organization in Russia describes the conditions of the whale holding facilities as torture. The companies that captured the whales received permission to capture 13 whales earlier this year.
Experts believe that there may also be infant whales in the enclosures because of the size of the “prisons.” This practice is completely forbidden by international law with no exceptions. Such a large-scale capture of whales could potentially increase the risk of these species becoming extinct.
One sad statistic is that, for every orca that is caught, one is usually killed. At the rate that the orcas are being captured, the entire orca population is at risk.
Date published: 15/04/2019
Article source: www.apost.com