About orca capturing in Russia
Our orcas are now endangered. In recent years, Japanese and other aquariums have taken an interest in obtaining Russian orcas, due to the proximity of the orcas in waters due north of Japan, as well as the lack of protection for orcas in our waters. As has been shown in the Northwest US and Canada, population estimates for orcas before photo-ID research have always been much larger
(3-5 times larger around Vancouver Island), while actual numbers through
photo-ID proved to be far
less. That and the peculiar biology of orcas -
with the long-lived social pods, and "populations" generally numbering
fewer than 300 individuals throughout the eastern North Pacific - are
strong arguments against capturing them for aquariums. Nevertheless, for the last years Russian government annually gives permissions to catch orcas. In 2003 the young female orca was captured at Kamchatka. It was moved to Utrish dolphinarium where she died some days later. One more animal died during the capture. In spite of this, attempts to capture orcas take place annually.
In August 2012 two mammal-eating killer whales were captured in Sakhalin Gulf in the western Okhotsk Sea. One presumably died and another was transported to the dolphinarium near Vladivostok. Read news about this killer whale on our facebook page
Russian dolphinariums have no experience in orca keeping. The main danger is that the capturing can become regular.
Below are listed some documents related to orca capturing in Russia in 2003: