In August 1989, despite the best efforts of animal activists, workers from Gulf World (Panama City Beach) captured four dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1993, activists in boats were again unsuccessful in stopping the capture of dolphins, this time off the coast of California. There has not been an attempt, in U.S. waters, to capture dolphins or whales for public display since that time. But now, aquariums are hoping that importing whales captured outside of the U.S. will help them avoid the protests and controversy that surrounded their previous captures.
The Georgia Aquarium, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and SeaWorld have teamed-up on a plan to import 18 wild-caught beluga whales from Russia (click here to learn more about the application). If approved, at least two of the whales could end up in Orlando.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service is accepting public comments until October 29. (A final decision will be announced early next year.) Please speak out against this ill-conceived and cruel plan.
To submit a comment, go to Regulations.gov and search “NOAA-NMFS-2012-0158″
A few important points:
- Transporting the 18 whales over thousands of miles from Russia to the U.S. will be extremely stressful.
- The public display of belugas in Orlando or elsewhere is not necessary for people to appreciate the animals or want to protect them.
- Belugas do not do well in captivity.