Russia Resumes Beluga, Orca Captures

After a two-year break, Russia has once again issued permits to capture free-ranging orcas and belugas in the Sea of Okhotsk for display in entertainment parks. This summer, rather than taking a more typical 20–30 belugas and five or so orcas, the capture boats brought in an unprecedented 80–90 belugas and 11–13 orcas, crowding them into sea pens near Vladivostok. AWI is working with Russian activists, other international animal groups, and concerned scientists to address this shocking turn of events. The animals are destined for facilities in Russia (belugas) and China (orcas and belugas). We will provide updates as we learn more.