As representatives from the Georgia Aquarium continue their legal battle to bring wild caught beluga whales from Russia to the United States, events have taken an unusual twist with the revelation by captivity show giant, SeaWorld, that they would not now accept any of the belugas (under a breeding loan) that the Georgia Aquarium is trying to import.
The announcement by SeaWorld comes at a time when their public image is under threat due to growing unrest over the treatment of whales and dolphins in captivity.
Several big name companies have cut ties with SeaWorld in the wake the award-winning documentary, Blackfish, which takes an in-depth look at the care of orcas in captivity and documents the death of one of SeaWorld’s trainers back in 2010.
Georgia Aquarium is currently trying to overturn a federal decision which initially denied its request to import 18 whales captured several years ago in Sea of Okhotsk, Russia.
WDC has been present at the hearing and helped with the presentation of arguments to the court supporting the permit application denial, which initially found that Georgia Aquarium had not met conditions required to approve its controversial request.
Live capture for public display is one of the most serious threats facing the beluga whale population in the Sea of Okhotsk region.