Oh, Baby: Fight Brews Over U.S. Import of Beluga Whales

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Science  12 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6104, pp. 180
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6104.180

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Earlier this year, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta made a controversial request to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Fisheries Service: It wants a permit to load 18 wild beluga whales captured in the Sea of Okhotsk into cargo jets and ship them to the United States for display and breeding in Atlanta and five other cities. The request is the first of its kind since 1988, and it is drawing extensive opposition from animal-rights advocates and some whale researchers. This week, the conflict is expected to get its first formal airing, with NOAA officials scheduled to hold a 12 October hearing.