AS China’s economy begins to boom, many of the trappings of western society are also becoming more popular there. These include theme parks, with marine-themed parks proving particularly popular with 76 built and another 25 in the pipeline. Not everyone gives much thought to where the larger creatures that are the main attraction come from, and the answer is quite disturbing – they are being captured and trapped.
Russia has been facing international condemnation after it transpired that around 100 whales, mainly belugas and killer whales, were being held in a “whale jail” for onward sale to Chinese marine parks. This harbour, trapping the creatures in with nets and walls, is described as a deeply unsuitable environment for them. The whales need open seas and also to be able to move to warmer or cooler water at will. It now appears that the Kremlin is relenting and plans are being made to release the animals back into the wild. The creatures have been captured, in defiance of international laws on whaling, by private Russian companies. Ironically they are now worth more alive than dead, millions of dollars in some cases.