My plea for the release of the one hundred illegally caught orcas and beluga whales from these cramped cages was supported by some 1.5 million people from around the globe. Thanks to the wide support of our campaign and the resulting public outcry — and thanks also to the actions that were taken by our coalition known as “Free the orcas and belugas” — we have managed to achieve our initial goal. The animals in the “jail” are being released. But this does not mean that marine animals won't be caught again in the future.
The Russian national fisheries agency and another agency called “VNIRO” (the All-Russian Research Institute for Fisheries and Oceanography) are again trying to push through new quotas for capturing marine mammals in 2020. Unless we act and stop it forever, many seals, walruses, belugas, pilot whales, and dolphins can be caught and held in a lifetime of captivity by entertainment companies.
Do we really want another “whale jail?” Are we really ready to see these freedom-loving ocean animals suffer in these cramped, freezing cages?
The only way to avoid all this is to pass a new law that bans the capture of any cetaceans for educational or research purposes.
Such a law already exists in a number of countries: Great Britain, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Brazil, Australia, Chile, Israel, Argentina, Haiti, France, Mexico, the Maldives, Puerto Rico, the US Hawaiian Island, the Antilles, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Bahamas, and Colombia.
A proposal along these lines was already made several months ago by Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeev, during the Direct Line Program with the President of Russia. He promised to amend the current legislation and said - “It’s already decided to ban this kind of capture for cultural-educational purposes, and to allow it only for scientific purposes or for native traditional fishing.” However, to date, no practical action has been taken on this proposal.
That is why today I am turning to the Deputy Prime Minister with a request that he keeps this promise to legally protect our marine mammals!
Dear friends, let us help Russia adopt this true and much-needed law for protecting whales and dolphins from captivity. All these whale jails, and cruel captures, and the aquariums and dolphinariums that hold these animals, should become a thing of the past.
So I,m ready to take away my best reloading kit and organize a meeting!
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