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12 August 2019

VNIRO monitors the locations of orcas

A group of scientists of the Russian Federal Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO) investigate the location of orcas and belugas released from the Srednyaya Bay in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Work on visual observation of animals in their natural habitat began on August 8 - after the completion of the third stage of release of marine mammals.

For 4 days, scientists on boats were investigated bays in the area of the Shantar Islands, where, according to data from satellite tags installed on animals, were orcas. During this time 5 families of wild orcas with a total number of more than 30 individuals were found.

"On August 10, in the Bay of Constantine, where, according to the satellite, there was a female orca from the first batch, we found two animals, but when we approached they went under the water and we, unfortunately, could not visually see – our orcas or their wild relatives, - said the Deputy Director for research VNIRO Vyacheslav Bizikov.

On August 11, in a Bay near Cape Wrangel, scientists observed the movement of three Green land whales accompanied by a group of orcas. "Approaching the distance of 60 meters, we were able to take a biopsy from a large male orca. DNA analysis will determine whether wild animals belong to the families that orcas contained in the Srednyaya Bay. If so, the chances of their unification are very high," the scientist said.

Due to the impending storm, the monitoring work will be temporarily suspended and will resume in August 20 after the completion of the fourth stage of the release of animals from the Srednyaya Bay to the Sea of Okhotsk.

The VNIRO press service

Adult male orca

Base for the organization of monitoring of animals

Scientists are preparing to work

A group of Greenland whales