NO Permit for 18 Beluga Whales in Captivity

  • By: Animal Advocates
  • Target: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service

Sitting in a holding pen on the Black Sea, are 18 Beluga Whales waiting for a permit approval to be shipped to Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium in the United States. If the aquarium’s request is approved, the belugas will be shipped on cargo planes to Belgium and then to the United States.

 

The Beluga whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red list in 2008 as being "near threatened", although in some parts of the world they are Critically Endangered, and protected under the United States Endangered Species Act.

 

Additionally The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the taking of marine mammals, and enacts a moratorium on the import, export, and sale of any marine mammal, along with any marine mammal part or product within the United States. The Act defines "take" as "the act of hunting, killing, capture, and/or harassment of any marine mammal; or, the attempt at such."

 

It would be the first time in two decades that wild-caught cetaceans have been imported into an aquarium in the United States, and this clealy voilates both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

 

We ask the National Marine Fisheries Service to deny the permit to import beluga whales to Geogia Aquarium. This is not research or conservation- it is nothing more than holding threatened marine mammals for profit of an exploitive exhibition display for human entertainment, and it will encourage more capture of marine mammals worldwide- because you have created a market for it.

 

NOAA Fisheries Service
Dr. Jane Lubchenco
1401 Constitution Avenue NW Rm 5128
Washington DC 20230
Phone: 202.482.3436 office
Email: jane.lubchenco@noaa.gov

 

National Marine Fisheries Service

1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Public Comment:accepted online until Oct. 29

Sitting in a holding pen on the Black Sea, are 18 Beluga Whales waiting for a permit approval to be shipped to Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium in the United States. If the aquarium’s request is approved, the belugas will be shipped on cargo planes to Belgium and then to the United States.


 


The Beluga whale was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red list in 2008 as being "near threatened", although in some parts of the world they are Critically Endangered, and protected under the United States Endangered Species Act.


 


Additionally The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the taking of marine mammals, and enacts a moratorium on the import, export, and sale of any marine mammal, along with any marine mammal part or product within the United States. The Act defines "take" as "the act of hunting, killing, capture, and/or harassment of any marine mammal; or, the attempt at such."


 


It would be the first time in two decades that wild-caught cetaceans have been imported into an aquarium in the United States, and this clealy voilates both the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.


 


We ask the National Marine Fisheries Service to deny the permit to import beluga whales to Geogia Aquarium. This is not research or conservation- it is nothing more than holding threatened marine mammals for profit of an exploitive exhibition display for human entertainment, and it will encourage more capture of marine mammals worldwide- because you have created a market for it.

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