In the whale and dolphin news this week:
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) allows for wild animals to be removed for the purpose of public display. In June, the Georgia Aquarium submitted an application for a permit from the MMPA to import 18 beluga whales from the Utrish Marine Mammal Research Station in Russia to the United States for the purpose of public display. These animals were previously captured from the Russian Sea of Okhotsk.
They would be legally imported and held in the Georgia Aquarium with some transported to other facilities for a breeding loan agreement. The other facilities include Sea World Orlando, Sea World Texas, Sea World California, and Shedd Aquarium.
This issue is open for public comments through October 9 before a public hearing will be held October 15. For more information, click here
In other news
Sea World Orlando is appealing an OSHA citation recommending that Sea World trainers never again be allowed to have unprotected contact with killer whales during the shows. The citation came about after the 2010 death of Dawn Brancheau. Dawn was a veteran trainer killed by Tillikum, a wild captured killer whale that remains at Sea World Orlando.
The Japanese have been unsuccessful in corralling dolphins and whales this week and have come back empty handed almost every day. Yesterday, a pod of 10-12 bottlenose dolphins were brought into the cove. Trainers came to the cove in skiffs to pick one for captivity. The rest were released back into the wild. For this one dolphin, he was torn from his family and home to live life in a tank. Sad!
No killing this week though.