July 8, 2019
Dear friends, first of all we want to thank you all! Yes, the first release was far from ideal, but it happened! This is our great victory! Orcas and belugas were not sent to China as it was intended when they were brutally captured last summer, but released into the sea! This is a completely unprecedented result and you are all part of this victory!
But the details of the release are still unknown to us and this causes many concerns.
According to the data provided on the movement of orcas from satellite tags, they went to where their family should be, in the area of the Shantar Islands. Apparently the place of release was familiar to them, so both orcas figured things out and together went straight to the place near which they were caught last summer.
There was not much data on belugas at the press conference, but there are still a lot of questions …. Only photos of one released beluga were shown, but it was clear from the video that all 6 belugas were in containers.
In the best practice, these released animals should be monitored visually, but at a press conference, VNIRO confirmed that such monitoring is not carried out. We want to believe that killer whales and beluga whales are doing good, but the only way to confirm that is to monitor them in the wild. It is possible to organize expeditions to the places of capture, but for an effective search for animals it is necessary that VNIRO provide data on the movement of released animals from satellite tags. Without such data – to find the released killer whales and beluga whales is like looking for a needle in a haystack. At the press conference, VNIRO stated that they were not going to share data from satellite tags, as they would use it for scientific work. Science is certainly wonderful, but now animal welfare should come first! VNIRO themselves can not organize a visual monitoring of animals, so we offer our help!
VNIRO can easily regain the trust of people by starting to publish more openly data about this and the next transportation, and this is exactly what we ask you to ask them to via email [email protected]
Video of release: