Jean-Michel Cousteau leads team of experts from The Whale Sanctuary Project to Russia

April 3, 2019

On Tuesday April 2nd Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Whale Sanctuary Project Team received their Russian VISAs in Washington DC and embarked for a stop in Moscow before heading to Srednyaya Bay, Russia. The team was invited by Russia’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources to assess the health of the 11 Orca and 87 Beluga Whales who were caught illegally last year with the apparent intention to sell them to marine entertainment parks in China. Jean-Michel and team hope to be able to advise the government about how to rehabilitate the whales and provide a plan for the eventual release of the whales.

Since the discovery of the ‘sea pens’ three of the Beluga Whales have gone missing and are presumed to be dead. Conflicting reports have been received regarding the health of the rest of the whales have been received however it is believed some are suffering serious in wounds and loss of energy.

Stay tuned for updates!


Jean-Michel Cousteau (far left), Charles Vinick (far right) and The Whale Sanctuary Team outside the Russian Embassy in Washington DC after they received their VISAs. Photo © Harry Rabin