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The Pacific Maritime Administration of the Federal Service for the Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor), after checking on the fact of keeping killer whales and beluga whales in the bay of Central Primorye, initiated administrative cases, the Ministry of Natural Resources said.
According to the press service of the Ministry, which was widespread on Wednesday, the cases were initiated “for non-compliance with the requirements for equipping the water body site, cleaning the water area from pollution, conducting state environmental impact assessment”.
These norms are directly related to the conditions of the current content of mammals, the department said.
“Representatives of Afalina LLC, White Whale LLC, Oceanarium DV LLC and Sochi Dolphinarium LLC were summoned by the Directorate to review resolutions on bringing liability to the responsibility established by law on February 20 and 28. Killer whales and beluga whales are included in the list of aquatic biological resources for which an allowable catch limit is established annually. The catch was made with serious violations of gender and age bans on individuals, ”the Ministry of Natural Resources noted.
The ministry noted that permits for export of these animals from the Russian Federation by Rosprirodnadzor, in whose authority this type of export permit is located, were not issued. “In addition, in November 2018, Rosprirodnadzor issued 23 refusals to issue CITES permits for the export of belugas LLC Afalina, Oceanarium DV LLC and Sochi Dolphinarium LLC,” the Ministry of Natural Resources informed.
Currently, beluga whales and killer whales, who are on artificially complementary foods, need to be examined by specialists, the press service of the ministry said.
The Ministry of Natural Resources recalled that earlier the Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Primorsky Territory had opened a criminal case on part 3 of Article 256 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, on the fact of illegal extraction (catch) of aquatic biological resources, and was sent to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Khabarovsk Territory.
“Rosprirodnadzor has sent a request to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Khabarovsk Territory to provide information on the results and measures taken on the above criminal case with a view to making further procedural decisions,” the ministry said.
As reported, in 2018, 12 killer whales and 90 belugas were caught in the Sea of Okhotsk for sale in dolphinariums and aquariums. After public intervention, proactive actions of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the TFR, it turned out that the animals were caught with numerous violations of the law. Zoodefenders asked the supervisory authorities, the investigation, federal and regional authorities to involve experts for the rehabilitation and reintroduction of animals.
In December, three beluga whales disappeared from the enclosures, trappers claim that they swam away, environmentalists are sure that the animals died. Experts who visited the “whale prison” in January as part of an inspection of the Primorsky Department of the Border Guard Service of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, reported that six of 11 of the killer whales had changed skin, one of them was not active and looked sick. The water area where the enclosures are located is covered with ice, while staying in the ice is not typical for killer whales.