During the last week two developments – in Japan and Argentina – have brought very encouraging news for orcas… the Nagoya Aquarium appears to have given up its attempts to buy orcas from Russia, and Argentina`s Secretary of Environment has decided not to permit export of the captive orca Kshamenk to the U.S.A. The Nagoya Aquarium decision is great news for orcas in the Okhosk Sea which have been threatened by capture attempts for the past two years… without a buyer or the up-front funding that had previously been given by the Nagoya Aquarium, Russian orca captors are less likely to make the attempt again. In Argentina, Kshamenk has been the focus of a battle for possession following a decision by the US National Marine Fisheries Service to allow the Six Flags amusement park chain to import him for “display and breeding” in their Ohio tanks. Fortunately for Kshamenk, Argentina has refused the pressure… it even seems possible that he may one day be given a chance to resume his life in the ocean. There may be no ultimate certainty about Kshamenk`s fate or that of Russian orcas but we are very encouraged just the same, and think that in these dark days any good news is worth passing on!
Paul Spong & Helena Symonds