The Georgia Aquarium has filed for a permit to import 18 Beluga whales into the United States. Taking a wild animal into captivity to serve the purpose of entertainment is an outrageously inhumane thing to do. These animals will be taken from their wild families and placed into an entertainment facility. There is no conservation taking place by removing animals from their natural habitats and placing them into an aquarium.
Furthermore, no true research can be done on captive belugas. They are swimming in chemically altered water, eating an unnatural diet, being forced to interact with humans, and have no natural social abilities available to them. They cannot swim, eat, or behave the way a wild animal does and therefore serve no scientific purpose within the confines of captivity.
The Georgia Aquarium charges $169.95 per adult, child or senior to take part in their "Beluga and Friends Interactive Program." It is clear that money and entertainment is the number one incentive for their application for this permit.
We must urge NOAA to decline the Georgia Aquarium's permit to import wild Belugas into the United States for captivity.
Please also contact
P. Michael Payne
Chief, Permits, Conservation and Education Division
Office of Protected Resources
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226