July 13, 2019
On 12 July VNIRO with capture companies loaded containers with animals on the ship named “TransAmur-3” at Khabarovsk harbour.
Although VNIRO has not allowed participation of academic scientists and independent observers in transportation and release of killer whales and belugas, volunteers managed to arrange outer observation of entire transportation process from loading to the lorries in Srednyaya up to delivery to harbour of Khabarovsk.
Volunteers of «Sakhalin Watch» confirm that all 3 killer whales were alive sent in the ship via Amur river to release location at Nikolaevskiy district.
Following disadvantages of transportation process were detected. Lorries were moving too fast through intervals of bad roads’ surfaces (what could have caused motion sickness of animals). Some minor water leakage was also detected from one of the lorries.
Also due to lack of management in logistic process there was 6 hours delay in harbour of Khabarovsk prior ship loading. What means that the beginning of transportation from Srednyaya could have been also postponed to reduce time when animals suffer in tiny containers.
Observers point out that accompanying team carried out the process of loading to the ship in a professional, fast and efficient way. Water was dumped away from containers before lifting them. As soon as each container was fixed on ship’s deck it was filled with fresh water which was previously prepared with dissolved salt. Water was cooled down with ice. This way in 3-4 minuter killer whales got fresh cool water which was some relieve for them.
Campaign Free Russian Whales appreciates release of killer whales and belugas from Whale Prison but points out that the main disadvantage of chosen by VNIRO scheme is still taking place – cetaceans are being release in very small groups what will seriously complicate their adaptation to natural sea life.