pPlease submit your comments by the October 29th deadline to the U.S National Marine Fisheries Service, urging officials to deny the permit application from the Georgia Aquarium that would allow the import of 18 wild-caught Beluga whales from Russia for a lifetime of captivity and exploitation in United States aquariums. /p
pstrongSubmitting Comments/strong/p
pYou may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0158, by any of the following methods:Online: Submit all electronic public comments via the a href=”http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0158-0001br /#10;”Federal e-Rulemaking Portal/a./p
pstrongMail:/strong Submit written comments to: Chief, Permits and Conservation Division Office of Protected Resources NOAA Fisheries 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13705 Silver Spring, MD 20910/p
pstrongFax:/strong 301-713-0376; Attn: Jennifer Skidmore/p
pa href=”http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/permits/georgia_aquarium_belugas.htm”More information here/a/p
pstrongPeter Wallerstein, Marine Animal Rescue Program Director for Friends of Animals submitted the following comment:/strong/p
pTo the a href=”http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0158-0001″Federal e-Rulemaking Portal/a: /p
pSubject: NOAA_NMFS-2012-0158/p
pMarine Animal Rescue, a project of Friends of Animals, strongly opposes the Georgia Aquarium’s efforts to import wild-caught beluga whales from Russia./p
pThe Georgia Aquarium has filed for a permit to import 18 beluga whales into the United States. These animals have been violently taken from freedom, separated from their families./p
pCaptive belugas cannot swim, eat, interact with others or otherwise behave the way a free whale does. No valid scientific research can be accomplished within captivity. Whales in aquaria are swimming in chemically altered water, eating dead fish filled with antibiotics and ulcer medicine, and being forced to interact with humans whether they want to or not. There is no escape, nowhere to hide for animals confined in a concrete tank./p
pMarine mammals don’t breed successfully in aquaria, which is why the Georgia Aquarium would pay a hefty fee to the Russians to get new stock. If allowed this would set a bad precedent for other enterprises, in the United States, as well as in China, Iran and elsewhere./p
pMoney, through entertainment, is what propels the Georgia Aquarium’s application for this permit./p
pWe urge the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to decline the Georgia Aquarium’s permit to import the belugas into the United States./p
pPeter Wallerstein/p
pMarine Animal Rescue Program Director/p
pFriends of Animals, Inc.br /
El Segundo, CA/p