The U.S. Is Taking A Major Step Toward Ending Beluga Whale Captivity

The U.S. may outlaw the import of some threatened beluga whales residing in Russian waters, NOAA announced Tuesday. Under the proposal from NOAA Fisheries, the U.S. would use the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) to designate belugas living in the Sea of Okhotsk on Russia’s Pacific coast as “depleted,” or below their optimum sustainable population. Such a designation would make it illegal to import any of these belugas into the U.S. for the purpose of public display. “NOAA Fisheries is responsible for protecting whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions and, as necessary, taking measures to restore these species and stocks to their

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