A total of 100 marine mammals were captured in the waters of the Sea area of Okhotsk, Russia around September 2018 ago. Activists suspect that there have been buying and selling for aquariums in China, but there is no export permit, so the marine mammals must be placed in special captivity.
- Minimum sale of 1 million US dollars
In March 2019, there are 11 orca whales, 87 beluga and 5 sea lions that sell for around one to seven million US dollars per tail. Russian Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev promised to free the marine mammals into their natural habitat after receiving accusations of violations of fishing law from the Russian Federal Security (FSB).
- Lack of breast milk
Dmitry Lisitysn, Chair of Sakhalin Environment Watch, a non-profit organization, came on the orders of the authorities on January 18-19 2019 to examine the condition of the marine mammals. Reportedly 15 beluga babies lack breast milk from their mothers who have been separated from the start of the arrest.
- Unworthy cages
They also found wounds on the dorsal fin in several orca whales. Most likely due to frostbite, fungus, or bacterial infection during their stay in a flooded area of captivity in the Srednyaya Coast near the Nachkodka area, Russia. The cage, which is relatively narrow and not feasible, causes the whales to be stressed and saturated.
- Adaptation difficulties
In captivity, food is always provided and whales are also given additional drugs to increase their body’s immunity, which is very unnatural for wild animals. According to experts, they will have difficulty adapting when returning to free sea waters. Only the strong ones will be released, and it is even possible for some weak mammals to be moved to the aquarium.
- Celebrity protest
Protests circulated rapidly on social media. Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson appealed via Twitter to get people to sign a petition at change.org for the release of the popes because they were considered inhumane. The petition received around 900 thousand support.
- The government is silent
The latest news says three beluga and one orca disappeared. Official reports say they ran away, but environmental experts assume they are dead because of inappropriate weather, habitat and food factors. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would release the mammals to the free sea on March 1, 2019, but until now there has been no certainty about this problem.