The biggest aquarium on the European continent, the Moskvarium, has opened in Moscow. Around 8,000 species of marine and freshwater life are presented, including three orcas, beluga whales and dolphins. Russia’s president Putin attended the opening show, where the orcas Narnia, Nord and Malishka (who is called Juliet during shows) performed tricks for the audience.
On the orca and beluga capture front in Russia, things have gone from bad to worse in recent months. Four orcas were reported captured this past summer in the Okhotsk Sea, three of them now thought to be in China, and the orca quotas have been reallocated at 10 per year despite all the evidence warning against any quota decision until essential research is carried out.
The sordid details are now emerging of further orca capture activities in the Russian Far East southwestern Okhotsk Sea. The two orcas captured in mid-July, and reported here earlier, have been shipped to China.
What now for Russian orcas?
The Japan Times leads with a report that 'Russia has seized a Japanese research whaling ship in the Sea of Okhotsk on suspicion of intruding into Russian territorial waters, government sources said on Friday.
The 712-ton Shonan Maru No. 2 left Japan on Aug. 8 to examine whales in the Sea of Okhotsk at the request of the government-linked Fisheries Research Agency.
Two killer whales were captured in recent weeks in Nikolaya Gulf, in the southwestern Sea of Okhotsk, the Russian Far East. The captors are reporting that the orcas were actually taken in 2013 and spent the winter in Nikolaya Gulf. This is impossible because the Gulf is completely frozen in winter.
WDC is monitoring with concern reports that Russian armed force