Can We Rescue the Beluga Breeding Program in the United States?
There are 29 beluga whales in aquaria across the United States and 29 were born in captivity. The Georgia Aquarium looked at the group and decided that they needed to bring in some new blood. Russia just happens to have 18 Beluga Whales captured between 2006 and 2011 and they're ready to ship them over.
The problem, though, is that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service doesn't agree. And now they're in court arguing about the 1972 Marine Mammals Protection Act. While aquaria are often able to import new dolphin and whales for public display,NOAA is arguing that the event might hurt the native population in Russia. The Georgia Aquarium, though, is worried about the population living in America.
For more information, read Joseph Yancey's piece in the Tulane Hullabaloo.