Tuesday 25 June 2019 | 15

The prison for whales, it's finished!

The prison for whales, it's finished!

Mis à jour le 16 April 2020

A prison for whales, is over! Or at least, it is coming to an end because the repatriation of orcas and belugas confined for a year in the Srednyaya bay has just started. There will also be no further animals caught in Russian waters, according to a court ruling. One Voice is delighted with this good news but remains vigilant as to the continuation of these operations.

Hr blog

Crédits photo © Yuri Smityuk/TASS

Editorial from Friday April 3, 2020:

An historic decision for transient orcas from Russia!

Friday, April 3rd 2020, the Russian government confirmed that transient orcas are now listed in the "Red Book of the Russian Federation", their official list of endangered species. This means that these orcas can no longer be hunted, captured or sold there to any park, whether in China or elsewhere in the world.

One Voice had participated in the coming together of this international team composed of in particular Charles Vinick, Jean-Michel Cousteau and Ingrid Visser. They had been able to go there to work with the authorities on the protocols and the release program, and to spend time with government officials, personally urging them never to let such a seizure of animals happen again. Popular mobilization has been invaluable in first denouncing the existence of this "whale prison" and then in giving freedom to each orca and beluga.

It is a huge victory. It is the first time in 23 years that this species has been added to this list. It is a historic decision!

Two orcas and six belugas have already set off for the Okhotsk Sea in clunky old trucks, from which you can hear their anguished calls under the tarpaulin that hides them. The trip is at high risk, for them as for those who will follow them in small groups until all the pens are empty. In addition, their rehabilitation will be reduced to ten days before they are released off the coast of Shantar Island in the Okhotsk Sea, some 1,770 kilometres from the place of their abduction. Some are very affected by their stay with humans. Last April, we participated in sending a group of experts composed of Jean-Michel Cousteau and members of the Whale Sanctuary Project, including a distinguished collaborator of One Voice, the biologist Ingrid Visser. They had been invited to assess the state of health of these captives on the spot and to propose a rehabilitation plan. According to their report, most of the animals presented severe skin lesions (the skin of the orcas was burned by ice, they have been partially skinned alive), but all seemed well fed and able to be released.

In a televised debate, Vladimir Putin commented on this transfer.

"You should know that a single orca is already worth almost $ 10 million," he said, "And when there is so much money at stake, problems are always difficult to solve. Thank goodness things have started to move". Let us salute here the obstinacy of the President of the Russian Federation to impose his will on the governors of these distant provinces, who are reluctant to let go of the goose that lays the golden eggs so easily. It was also for him to restore the image of Russia. It is indeed the only country to still carry out this kind of capture, at a time when marine sanctuaries are opening in Iceland and Greece and when Canada now prohibits any detention of cetaceans on its territory.

Heavy fines

Better yet, on May 31st, the Sakhalin court declared illegal all orca and beluga catch quotas issued in 2018 by the Federal Fisheries Agency. As a result, two of the four companies involved in these catches were subsequently given very heavy fines. Trials against the other companies are still ongoing, but there will already be no catches of large cetaceans in Russia until further notice. Deputy Prime Minister Gordeyev also confirmed that the government would soon amend the law which still authorizes the abduction of these marine mammals for "educational and cultural purposes" today.


All is certainly not resolved for the prisoners of the Srednyaya bay because their release will take at least four months and all will probably not survive. But we can only applaud this unexpected liberation, which marks a turning point in the history of Russia and does it proud.
One Voice also hopes that it will give food for thought to countries like China and France, which still exploit dolphins and orcas in their aquatic circuses.
The road will be long, but we want to believe it: Cetaceans in slavery, it's almost over!

Yvon Godefroid
Hr blog

In the subject

The court prohibit Marineland from relocating the orcas before the end of the independent assessment Marineland: One Voice has obtained a temporary ban on moving the orcas - hearing on 16/01/2024

Comments 15

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

Zaza | Tuesday 12 November 2019

Respect à ceux s'investissant corps et âme pour rétablir les vies à l'habitat naturel... L'humanité évolue doucement pour nos sans voix, encore trop d'irrespect et de barbarie pour ces magnifiques êtres.

amie des animaux | Thursday 22 August 2019

Bravo à la Russie pour son acte de courage en espérant que la Chine et la France suivent !!!

Les choses bougent même si les consciences évoluent lentement : gardons Espoir !

Et enfin, grand MERCI à toutes celles et ceux qui œuvrent vaillamment chaque jour, pour la protection,la sauvegarde, le respect et la liberté de tous nos animaux !!!

jeanluc62 | Wednesday 21 August 2019

nous sommes au 21ème siècle et pourtant des parcs aquatiques détiennent encore des orques, des dauphins en captivité dans des conditions déplorables.
les Japonais ne font guère mieux avec leur chasse à la baleine, soit disant une vieille tradition, le massacre des dauphins dans l ile de Taiji.
lorsque ces derniers respectent la nature et l'environnement : pur mensonge.
la Norvège et l'Islande qui continuent encore à chasser les baleines cette pratique est illégale depuis les années 80.

corinne | Friday 28 June 2019

Merci à ONE VOICE pour ces combats, c'est super ce que vous faites, de tout cœur avec vous !!!!!