Russia Captures Over 100 Orca And Beluga Whales

The holding pens for the belugas and orcas in Srednyaya Bay Facebook/Russian Orcas

For the life’s of 90 beluga and 11 orca whales, it has become a nightmare extremely fast as it has been discovered the the marine mammals have been captured to be sold to marine parks in China.

The 101 mammals where captured by Russian traders in the open ocean over the course of the summer as the business of holding large marine mammals for human entertainment continues to soar across the world.

Marine mammal scientists Naomi Rose explained to The Dodo that the capturing of the animals use purse seining which is a practice where, “they encircle a group of spooked whales with small chase boats. One of these boats drops a net into the water when the whales are huddled together and draws it around the group. The bottom of the net has a line attached and is pulled closed. This is ‘pursing’ — turning the net into a big bag, basically, with the whales inside

“They then pull the top of the net tighter and tighter until they have corralled off the whale they want … wrestle it onboard with the net or a stretcher, and release the rest,” Rose said. “Sometimes animals get entangled in the net and drown. Or they may exhaust themselves trying to ram through the net and suffer from capture myopathy, a condition that is essentially being exhausted to death — their hearts can simply stop beating.”

“The trauma and distress these animals experience during captures is not opinion or emotion — it is fact,” Rose added. “They suffer intense stress-related reactions and their mortality risk spikes sharply soon after capture and then again after transport — they don’t get accustomed to the process. The decimated pods may experience similar stress and trauma — their offspring are being taken from them.”

Once captured the, the belugas and orcas are taken to Srednyaya Bay, near Nakhodka, Rissua where they animal are kept in small pens until the traders secure buyers, where they will then move to China. Although China is currently the only buyer on the market, it was only in 2015 where SeaWorld and the Georgia Aquarium attempted to buy whales from Russia but where denied by federal officials.

Beluga whales held in captivity at She’d Aquarium in Chicago.

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