Russia: Operation begins to release last group of belugas into wild from ‘whale jail’

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Mandatory courtesy to Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO)


Russian animal experts started to load the last batch of beluga whales previously held in the so-called “whale jail” onto vessels in the Srednyaya Bay on Tuesday, in order to transport the mammals to the to Lazovski Nature Reserve area of the Sea of Japan, where they are to be released into the ocean.

Footage shows six beluga whales being lifted onto the ‘Professor Kaganovsky’ vessel. According to Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO), the operation was postponed due to bad weather conditions later on Tuesday.

The remaining whales are waiting for the weather to improve to be lifted onto the vessel.

In a statement the institute said that all of the remaining 50 belugas are planned to be released in one big 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,” the agency said.

The first batch of marine mammals from the whale prison was released into the Sea of Okhotsk on June 27.


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