Recently, drone footage revealed more than 100 whales trapped inside small enclosures off Russia’s Pacific coast near the southeastern city of Nakhodka.
There are 11 orcas and 90 beluga whales are being imprisoned in secret underwater “jails” or “whale jails”. Whale and Dolphin Conservation said that it was the largest number of marine animals to be held in tiny temporary enclosures.
‘Whale prison’ discovered by drone in Far East Russia pic.twitter.com/gkZBVmYwVp
— RT (@RT_com) November 8, 2018
It is thought that these creatures have been caught and kept for commercial purposes. They will be sold off to ocean theme parks in China at a hefty price. An Orca whale can reportedly fetch up to $6 million (or more). Ocean theme park industry in China is booming with more than 60 marine parks are running and at least 12 more are under construction, The Telegraph reports.
According to international law, whales can only be captured for scientific and educational purposes. The operation of buying and selling cetaceans for entertainment is strictly illegal, but the law is routinely ignored as the companies say it is for the scientific and educational purposes.
For this reason, prosecutors are investigating the truth behind this scene in order to find out whether the orcas and belugas are being kept in the tiny enclosures illegally.
The companies that imprisoned this large group of whales exported 13 Orcas to China between 2013 and 2016. This information was gained via a Novaya Gazeta investigation.
As per the experts, keeping the whales in these jails is absolutely illegal. Also, a large-scale capture of whales could potentially increase the risk of these species becoming extinct in the future.
“Catching them at this tempo, we risk losing our entire orca population,” Greenpeace Russia research coordinator Oganes Targulyan told The Telegraph.
h/t: The Telegraph