The Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk City Court has accepted a lawsuit by environmentalists in defence of killer whales, the website of the NGO Sakhalin Environment Watch said on Tuesday.
“On Tuesday, the plaintiffs were given the decision of the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk City Court to pass an administrative claim and prepare the case for trial,” the report said.
Two public organizations – the Environmental Watch of Sakhalin and the Club Boomerang – applied to the court with the suit, as well as the representative of the Friends of the Ocean initiative group. They dispute the positive conclusion of the state environmental review on the documentation of the change in the total allowable catch (TAC), which allowed the catch of 13 killer whales in the Sea of Okhotsk in 2018.
Until August 24, the defendant – the department of Rosprirodnadzor for the Far Eastern Federal District – is obliged to submit to the court an objection to the claim with the application of evidence. After that, the court will fix the date of the meeting.
“Appeal to the court became a logical continuation of a large-scale public campaign to protect killer whales. So, on April 30 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk the initiative group “Friends of the Ocean” held a picket against the capture of marine mammals, “it was informed.
On the site of Internet petitions change.org, Sakhalin environmental activists created a petition “Stop issuing quotas for capturing killer whales and beluga whales!”, The number of people who signed it is approaching 22 thousand.
According to the Environmental Watch of Sakhalin, independent scientists – experts on marine mammals – at public hearings on May 3 in Vladivostok criticized the proposed TACs for marine mammals.
“However, the leadership of Rosrybolovstva did not consider it necessary to take into account the opinion of independent academic experts and the public. The materials of the TAC for capturing killer whales in an incomplete composition (without full materials of public discussions) were sent to the department of Rosprirodnadzor for state environmental review. The expert commission carried out an examination in just six days, instead of a one-month deadline set by the department. Complaints of “Ekovahta” in the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation on the violation of the rights of citizens by these actions did not receive an adequate response, in connection with which the public appealed to the court, “the report said.
At present, the Friends of the Ocean group is in the place of capturing killer whales and conducts public control over the actions of commercial companies hunting these marine animals for their subsequent sale, including abroad.
Source: Maritime News of Russia