Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of Georgia judge

By Rich McKay ATLANTA (Reuters) – A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia. The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta sued the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries service in September for the right to acquire the whales, which were captured off the coast of northern Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk and are currently in the care of Russian scientists. The government contends that bringing the whales to the United States would contribute to the depletion of the known wild beluga whale population and violate the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The aquarium disputes that and wants NOAA Fisheries to hand over more internal documents to show how the government made its decision.

August 21, 2014 3:14 am

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