BREAKING NEWS! The operation to free orcas and beluga whales from the “Whale Jail” will begin in the near future

Breaking news about “Whale Jail” from the Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russian Federation
The governor of Primorsky Krai Oleg Kozhemyako invited famous scientist Jean-Michel Cousteau and his colleagues to assist with the Whale Jail situation

BREAKING NEWS! The operation to free orcas and beluga whales from the “Whale Jail” will begin in the near future

This was confirmed by the Head of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia Dmitry Kobylkin in response to the questions about developments of criminal case investigation in regards of the situation around marine mammals held in the enclosures in the bay of Primorsky Krai.

“We have done a lot of work with various departments. The attention of caring public, ecologists, residents of the region was very import. Today, there is every reason to assert that the release of marine mammals – hostages of the situation in the Bay of Srednyya in Primorsky Krai, will occur in the very near future. The interdepartmental working group, together with experts, scientists will give an opinion on the phasing of the release after examination of the animals, ” – Dmitry Kobylkin emphasized.

In the near future, the State Inspectors of Rosprirodnadzor(The Federal Service for Supervision of Use of Natural Resources), together with representatives of the Amur Basin Environmental Prosecutor’s Office, the Investigative Committee for the Khabarovsk Territory and experts from research institute plan to begin activities to inspect animals to confirm their current status and make further decisions about the exact time and method of their release from the enclosures.

It should be reminded that Rosprirodnadzor opened administrative cases under articles 8.45, 8.4, 8.2 of the RF Administrative Offenses Code for non-compliance with the requirements for equipping water area, cleaning the water area, conducting state environmental expertise. These norms are directly related to the conditions of the animals.

Killer whales and beluga whales are included in the list of aquatic biological resources for which an allowable catch limit is established annually. Animals were captured with serious violations of age requirements.

Permits for the export outside the Russian Federation of these animals by Rosprirodnadzor, in whose authority this type of export authorization is located, have not been issued. In addition, in November 2018, Rosprirodnadzor issued 23 refusals to the companies  LLC Afalina, Oceanarium DV LLC and Sochi Dolphinarium LLC, that tried to obtain CITES permits for the export of belugas.

Earlier, the Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Primorsky Territory opened a criminal case on the grounds of the crime by part 3 of article 256 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, on the fact of illegal extraction (catch) of aquatic biological resources, later case was sent to the Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Khabarovsk Territory.

All this time, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Rosprirodnadzor monitored the investigation stages and measures that were taken in the above criminal case with a goal to make further procedural decisions regarding the animals.