Target: Georgia Aquarium
Goal: Abandon plans to import eighteen beluga whales from the wild
Georgia Aquarium desires to import eighteen beluga whales from Russia. There haven’t been any imports of wild whales or dolphins in the U.S. for the past twenty years, a trend that shouldn’t be rescinded. Please sign this petition to protest the importation of the eighteen beluga whales.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act, MMPA, requires that all captures be humane and not endanger wild populations. The aquarium assures activists that the beluga whales were captured humanely, but animal activists still protest the decision to import whales from a foreign country, taking them from their native waters to live the rest of their lives in captivity.
Richard O’Barry, a former dolphin trainer turned anti-capture activist, claims that there is no such thing as a humane capture, since the animals are going to suffer regardless of any measures taken to reduce their pain and discomfort during the capture.
Beluga whales, known as the canaries of the sea, stop singing when in captivity. Dolphins and whales, very social and playful creatures, are placed in concrete pools with nothing new to see or do and few to no other animals to interact with. For a marine mammal, being captured means being separated from their pods, a close-knit family, then sentenced to a uneventful life of isolation.
The Department of Commerce responsible for the decision regarding the ethicality and repercussions of allowing the eighteen whales to be imported is the National Marine Fisheries Service. The department is expected to handle both the fisheries and the welfare of marine mammals, but there is no way to satisfy both the animal welfare organizations who protest the importation and the aquarium.
Encourage Georgia Aquarium to abandon its plans to import the eighteen beluga whales. Capturing and containing the magnificent creatures is not the way our respect towards nature should be shown. Rather, we should allow them to grow and prosper without our interference.
Dear Luis Leandro,
As you may or may not know, Georgia Aquarium wishes to import eighteen beluga whales from Russia. However, it would be much more prudent to ask that the whales be released back into the sea.
Beluga whales in captivity are known to have shorter live spans, and the conditions in which they live are nowhere near adequate for them to live happy and healthy lives. Putting them on display is simply an added cruelty done to an animal who has always known freedom. To humans, being trapped in a concrete pool would be considered a form of sensory deprivation. Without even being aware of it, we are torturing the sea’s beautiful creatures.
Please insist that the NMFS refuse Georgia Aquarium’s proposal.
Thank you for your time.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Carquinyol via Wikimedia Commons