Beluga whale settles near Russky Island

Beluga whale settles near Russky Island

27 July 2020

A beluga whale approached beachgoers near the village of Podnozhye on Russky Island in Vladivostok. The whale was earlier spotted near the shoreline communications station, in Fyodorov Bay and near the Tokarevskaya Koshka lighthouse.


Dmitry Lisitsyn, director of the Sakhalin Environmental Watch, said that the beluga whale may be one of the animals released from Srednyaya Bay in the Primorye Territory although it has not been confirmed. It could have been attracted to the shore by the abundance of fish or mere curiosity, he believes.


Eyewitnesses reported that the beluga whale appeared comfortable swimming near a boat with people; it reacted to their presence but was not afraid. It did not retreat when people went sailing and stayed close to holidaymakers in shallow waters.  


Dmitry Lisitsyn also noted that attempting to catch a marine mammal is against the law. 


“Catching a beluga whale requires special permits, quotas, etc. There are none available at the moment. In 2020, these animals were not approved for a total allowable catch; therefore, permits are not issued. Those who risk violating fishing rules will be charged a higher fee or be subject to criminal prosecution and an exorbitant fine for attempting to catch this species,” the environmentalist added.