Controversial Whale Jail Facility In Russia Ordered To Release Captive Whales

Other | Saturday 2nd March 2019 | David

After receiving widespread criticism from both the press and the general public, a facility in Russia dubbed the ‘whale jail’ has been ordered to release whales it was holding captive.

News of the controversial facility, which is located in the port town of Nakhodka, started to become public towards the end of last year, where it was reported that around one-hundred killer whales and beluga whales were being held in small containers to be sold to theme parks in China. The animals were kept in poor conditions, especially at night, when the water in which they were being held would drop to freezing temperatures. Whales need to swim long distances to keep warm, so this posed a major risk to their health.

A petition to release the captive whales received close to one-million signatures, with the facility also being condemned by A-list actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Pamela Anderson. Due to the widespread public outrage, Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered the facility to release all of its captive whales back into the ocean, which is expected to happen in the near future.

Russian law allows whales to be captured, but only for scientific reasons. As the whales in the Nakhodka facility were not being held for research purposes, charges have been bought against the companies responsible, but whether these will result in criminal convictions remains to be seen. For now, however, the fact that most of the whales are being released is still a step in the right direction.