TWEETSTORM: Sochi Olympics Sporting Excellence Not Captive Orcas

By Kirsten Massebeau

Blackfish may have slowed down SeaWorld but it hasn’t slowed down their Russian friends a company called, White Sphere that is busy pulling orcas out of the Sea of Okhotsk. 2012 and 2013 have been successful years for “White Sphere” a conglomerate, and the Russian captive industry. In 2012 they managed to capture the young female orca now known as Narnia and in August of 2013 White Sphere has captured an additional seven orcas during two different operations in the Okhotsk sea. Two of those orcas are headed for China: ” The rumors are China and Moscow where new facilities are coming on stream. To send the whales to China requires CITES permits and we have now found out that at least 2 CITES permits have been issued”(source).  Two other whales are following a different path that  White Sphere hope involves performing at the Sochi Olympics.

On November 26th Russian Orcas on Facebook made a sad announcement to the world: “We have new information that two of the killer whales being held near Vladivostok are soon to be flown across Russia to the Sochi Dolphinarium. Sochi is a busy place these days preparing for the winter Olympics, 7-23 Feb. 2014. The whale captors known for the capturing beluga whales such as those the Georgia Aquarium is attempting to import, are planning on making big money during the Olympics by putting these newly captured orcas on display. These will be the first orcas ever displayed in public in Russia. A sad day for Russia, a sad thing for the Olympics, a very sad situation for two orcas who now will be flying across seven time zones, some 7,427 kilometres (4,614 miles) to spend the rest of what remains of their lives in captivity”.(Source)

On December 2nd Russian Orcas on Facebook confirmed that Narnia was one of the orcas on their way to Moscow: “After a year in a small holding pool near Vladivostok, yesterday 2 Dec., Narnia, a young female orca about 5m long and weighing 2.7 tons, was reportedly sent by cargo aircraft IL-76 to her final destination in a new Moscow Dolphinarium and Aquarium. Along with her was one of the orcas captured this year, a young male only 1.7 tons. They transferred at Krasnoyarsk airport then finished the 10-hour journey across Russia to the new Moscow Aquarium and Dolphinarium, said to be the largest oceanarium in Europe. No more news yet on the 2 orcas said to be going to Sochi for the Olympics”.(Source)

White Sphere and their many partners believe the Sochi Olympics is an opportunity to make a global name for themselves, and to line their pockets with gold as they display captive orcas for the first time in Russia, at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter games. Join us on Friday the 13th of December as we explain to the IOC, Vladimir Putin, White Sphere, and their partners from around the world that their support, and capture of wild orcas is unacceptable! It’s time they watched “Blackfish” and learned orca captivity is coming to an end not a new beginning.

As the documentary “Blackfish” continues to recruit new advocates for orcas let us broadcast the terrible plight of Russian orcas. Be a voice for the Blackfish of Russia! Together we can make a difference! Creating Awareness is what we do!

Friday, December 13, 2013

8:00pm in UTC

    LIST OF TWEETS: ► will be posted SHORTLY BEFORE start of tweetstorm for trending reasons.

As Blackfish Premieres on CNN Four More Orcas are Captured by “White Sphere” in Russia for the Captive Industry

By Kirsten Massebeau

Orcas captured near Sakhalin Island area  Source: Russian Orcas

Four more orcas captured near Sakhalin Island area, by “White Shpere” a company in Russia. Info provided by Russian Orca 

On October 27, 2013 the Facebook page Russian Orcas shared an image of orcas in a netted enclosure: “New confirmed information: Four more orcas have been captured somewhere in the Sakhalin Island area by the same company as before. In total, now there are eight captive orcas in Russia. Narnia captured last year, plus seven captured this year”.(source) In a short interview with Russian Orcas it was confirmed that the company capturing the orcas in Russia is called, “White Sphere”: “The company is “White Sphere” and its daughter company is “Sochinsky delphinary” (Dolphinarium in Sochi)”. Doctor Ingrid Visser Founder and Investigator at the Orca Trust commented on the image on her facebook page simply saying, “tragic that this happens right when “Blackfish” is making an impact”.

Previously on October 9, 2013 Russian Orcas had reported on another capture by “White Sphere“: “Three more captured Russian orcas join Narnia. An adult male, adult female and juvenile female killer whale were captured recently in the Sea of Okhotsk, eastern Russia, about 50 km south of the place where the young female orca Narnia was captured a year ago. They were transported in trucks for more than 1000 km to the south to the net enclosure near Nakhodka (Vladivostok area) and placed in the same net pen where Narnia was kept for the past year. The three captives were reportedly in a very bad condition after the transport. They refused to eat. The trainers could do nothing. Finally, we’ve heard, that Narnia herself tried something. She brought fish to the three captives and gave it to them. In this way she was responsible for persuading them to eat. This is not the first time one captive has helped others in the same situation. In the book Orca: The Whale Called Killer, Charlie Chin (M1) from the transient M pod encouraged a female in the pod to eat salmon—of course this is strange food for transients—after more than 2 months of refusing to eat. Regarding the four orcas now in Nakhodka, two of them are rumored to be headed for Moscow in November to be placed in the Oceanarium which is being built in the All-Russia Exhibition Centre. Two others are rumoured to have been offered for sale abroad. (Source)


On October 24, 2013 the heart-wrenching, fact based, eye opening film, “Blackfish” premiered on CNN. The powerful documentary exposes SeaWorld and the truth about the  death of Dawn Brancheau who was killed by killer whale,Tilikum in 2010. The movie highlights SeaWorld’s lack of concern for the safety of trainers who are working with killer whales, and explores why Tilikum has killed. Once the viewer sees the violent captures of these orca juveniles being ripped from their mothers in the wild there is no doubt what SeaWorld has to done these highly intelligent mammals, and continues to do by enslaving them is wrong. The orca is the largest of the dolphin family traveling hundreds of miles everyday. Orca families have stronger emotional family bonds than humans, staying together in pods for a lifetime. Horrific footage of the violent Puget Sound captures, and Tilikum’s capture brought viewers to tears as “Blackfish” premiered and revealed how very unsuitable orcas are for captivity yet the captures continue.

Blackfish ended up taking the number 1 spot on , “CNN Films: Blackfish #1 In Cable News Last Night In Key Demo Ratings” showing a huge interest in the compelling topic of keeping orcas in captivity. In addition CNN Polls demonstrated that people overwhelmingly believe orcas should not be in captivity yet the captures continue in Russia and Iceland, putting pods at risk of collapse, much like 43 year old captive orca Lolita whose L-Pod remains threatened in the Puget Sound today because of captures. The question looms will people get smart and realize that there is a “Better Way To See Orcas” before it’s too late?

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