Leading specialists of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Far Eastern Federal University, the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, the Center for Oceanography and Marine Science Biology, representatives of the Coalition “Freedom for Killer Whales and Beluga Whales”, the Marine Mammals Council, the Dolphin Rescue Center “Delfa” discussed the current situation regarding the preparation and implementation of the next stage of the release of belugas into the natural habitat.
The meeting decided to release all animals in one large group. To transport 50 belugas, VNIRO specialists are preparing two research vessels that have returned from scientific expeditions, capable of taking all the animals on board in one voyage.
“Beluga whales were previously released in the Sakhalin Gulf area. Now, it is impossible to transport and release the animals at the previously defined places because of the impending storms. That's why a recommendation was made to release animals in Primorye, in a bay near the Lazovsky State Nature Reserve,” said Vyacheslav Bizikov, Secretary of the Scientific Council. “This is a safe place where beluga whales are regularly observed in the fall, and where there is sufficient food supply for them.”
The last group of animals will be transported next week. After the transportation is completed, the plan for the release of marine mammals from Srednaya Bay into the natural habitat, implemented by VNIRO on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation, will be considered as fully implemented.
VNIRO press service