The official position of the Marine Mammals Council – a non-profit organization that United leading Russian marine mammal experts.
“On May 15, new information was published about plans to release 10 killer whales kept in Srednyaya Bay right in the Srednyaya bay in the end of May-beginning of June. The Working Group of Marine Mammals Council believes that this poses serious risks both for killer whales themselves and for people.
Although it is possible that killer whales will leave the region of release and will be able to return to independent existence in nature, there are also quite high risks that orcas will remain in the bay or in its vicinity, as they are used to getting food there. The area around Srednyaya Bay is a populated area, it is a recreational zone where a large number of tourists gather in the summer. It is possible that killer whales will seek contact with people because they are used to getting food from them, and this can be dangerous both for people and for the killer whales themselves.
The SMM Working Group does not recommend releasing killer whales in Srednyaya Bay, especially without prior rehabilitation. We believe that the least risky option would be to transport killer whales to the place of their capture, rehabilitate and release with the involvement of foreign experts of killer whales , as recommended earlier by Russian and foreign experts.
SMM Chairman, Dr. O.A.Filatova “