Russian orcas captured! – October 6th 2003

It is with the deepest regret that we report the capture of an orca in eastern Russian waters. The capture took place in Avacha Bay near the city of Petropavlovsk- Kamchatskiy in southern Kamchatka Peninsula. The consequences, quite apart from the impact on a young female orca and her family, are potentially immense because the capture opens the door to a new era of orca roundups that could fill the tanks of the world`s captive industry for decades. In some respects the tragic event was not unexpected because this is the third year in which Russian animal traders have been trying to capture orcas in the Okhotsk Sea. Hitherto they had failed, and this year there were delays in the issue of the capture permit by the Russian government. Our hope had been that deteriorating weather conditions would once again protect the orcas, but sadly this was not to be. We do not know the exact circumstances but it is certain that they were terrifying for the captive orca and the family she belongs to. We have heard that she was a young mother with a very young baby who escaped or was released. If so, the baby is very likely to die. Another orca is said to have drowned after becoming entangled in nets during the capture operation. These reports have a familiar ring because we know from the ugly history of orca captures in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere that other family members are often killed or injured during capture attempts. The survivors of the captive’s family as well as other orca families in the Okhotsk Sea remain in great jeopardy because the permit issued by the Russian government allows for the capture of no less than 10 orcas this year. We are determined to make every possible effort to see that this does not happen… not this year, not ever.

Please check back here soon for information about how to participate in what we hope will become a world wide protest aimed at ending this madness.

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