Save the Russian Whales - Orientation

April 5, 2019

Save the Russian Whales - Orientation


In July and August of 2018, a collection of whaling companies captured 10 orcas and 87 beluga whales in the Sea of Okhotsk so that they could be sold to theme parks in China. The Russian Government has determined that the capture was illegal and they are not permitting the sale of the whales.

The whales are now being held in ocean pens near Nakhodka. The goal is to return the whales to the locations where they were captured in Sea of Okhotsk so that the whales can be returned to their families.

The whales cannot simply be released because they would not survive the icy ocean conditions, far from their home waters, and without the help of their normal family and community structure.

A team of scientists and experts assembled by The Whale Sanctuary Project are now in Russia to help the Russian Government assess the current health of the whales. The team includes Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society, Charles Vinick, Executive Director of The Whale Sanctuary Project, and whale rehabilitation and release experts Jeff Foster and Ingrid Visser, amongst others. The team also wants to help make plans for the return of the whales next summer. Jean-Michel, Charles Vinick and The Whale Sanctuary Team were part of a press conference on April 4th in Vladivostok, along with the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and others.


Russian Sea Pen. Photo by Siberian Times

Jean-Michel Cousteau, Charles Vinick and The Whale Sanctuary Team are now on their way to visit the whales in Nakhodka. We will provide regular updates as they report their findings.

Please share the news of this project with others so that together we can work towards helping to reduce the suffering of these whales and work towards returning them to their families in their home waters.

“Protect the Ocean and You Protect Yourself”

Ocean of Thanks for your continued support,


Jean-Michel Cousteau
President, Ocean Futures Society

The Whale Sanctuary Project is supporting this mission and has created a special fundraising campaign to meet the costs of this initial visit. Your tax-deductible donations to this fund are greatly appreciated. Please click here.

You can also make donations to Ocean Futures Society to support this mission and our ongoing efforts in spreading awareness about marine mammals in captivity. Please click here.

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