Just recently the Georgia Aquarium published a statement that they will no longer will source whales and dolphins from the wild1. This is something to be applauded, especially when you read about the dire situation of the 18 beluga whales that were caught in the wild in the Russian Sea of Okhotsk. They were destined to go to the Georgia Aquarium but despite an import permit has been denied they will remain in captivity2.
Beluga whales, four of them, at Georgia Aquarium
This is one of the few species kept at Georgia Aquarium that has been classified by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, its status being Near Threatened:
On the webpages dedicated to their efforts to import these 18 beluga whales, the Georgia Aquarium states that failure of import and its precedent-setting consequence will lead to possible extinction of beluga whales in zoos and aquariums3. Unfortunately, this will lead to aquarium tanks without beluga whales. But how dare they speak of extinction of a species in zoos, while the species (hopefully) will remain in the wild. They obviously lost touch with their mission that above all should focus at conserving biodiversity and as a consequence the protection of species in the wild.
The before declaring a species Extinct is Extinct in the Wild – there is no such thing as Extinct in the Zoo!
Drone Art – Arctic Wildlife & Landscapes, including beluga whales and polar bears
Arctic Watch photographer Nansen Weber undertook the mission of filming on the Northwest Passage with the use of a drone: