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Stop Whale Imports to Georgia Aquarium

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Originally Posted: October 23, 2012

Stop Whale Imports to Georgia Aquarium

[Ed. Note: VICTORY update August 2013 - NOAA Denies Permit to Import 18 Beluga Whales for Display at Georgia]

FROM Born Free USA

ACTION

Whales and dolphins belong in the sea, not in man-made pools! Tell that to the NOAA today.

Complete form at Regulations.gov
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0158-0001

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Chief, Permits and Conservation Division
Office of Protected Resources
NOAA Fisheries
1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705
Silver Spring, MD 20910
fax (301) 713-0376 - attn: Jennifer Skidmore

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

The Georgia Aquarium has applied for a permit to import 18 beluga whales from Russia. Please tell the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to deny the aquarium's exploitative request!

Beluga whales are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and the plan to transport these animals involves multiple plane and truck transfers that pose a significant risk for them and violate MMPA guidelines about imposing stress on animals.

It is troubling that Georgia Aquarium officials blithely claim this import promotes conservation. They themselves admit it's really about improving genetic diversity of captive belugas despite the dismal failure rate of the facility's breeding program. The only calf ever born at the Georgia Aquarium died after only a week!

Although some of the 18 belugas would go to the Georgia Aquarium, most would be sent to other tourist attractions (including the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut and the SeaWorlds in California, Florida and Texas) for the purpose of breeding under loan agreements. These facilities together already possess more than 30 belugas — there is no reason to import more whales!

Greed, not conservation, seems to be the motivating factor for these facilities to acquire belugas. Georgia Aquarium and Mystic Aquarium not only put their belugas on display to perform demeaning tricks, but also run beluga "encounter" programs that are similar to the all-popular dolphin encounters that most marine parks now run, charging up to $375 per encounter!

Whales and dolphins belong in the sea, not in man-made pools! Tell that to the NOAA today.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!