Disturbing Drone Images Have Exposed Secret Ocean Prisons – With Over 100 Creatures Trapped Inside

When the drone footage came back, news reporters couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Rows of glass cases floating on the ocean’s surface, each one containing a sinister surprise. Live creatures filled these prisons, unable to do anything but wait their uncertain fate.

If early records are accurate, mankind has been hunting whales since as early as 6,000 B.C. Thanks to petroglyphs found along the Taehwa River, historians believe the practice actually began in Neolithic Korea. And since this time, the practice has continued throughout the ages.

In fact, whaling grew to become a commercial industry, and a large amount of controversy has come with it. People hunt whales because they provide resources that are both useful and valuable. For example, their flubber contains oil, and is rich in vitamin D. Furthermore, whale meat is edible for humans.

ADVERTISEMENT

Over 50,000 whales a year were victim to the whaling industry by the end of the 1930s. But such extensive losses were unsustainable, and something had to be done to save the sea creatures from extinction. And so their protection came in the form of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

As a result of the rapidly declining whale numbers, the IWC stepped in to try and stop any further commercial hunting. Whaling supporters hotly contest the ban, with countries such as Japan and Iceland appealing for legalized whaling. Others, including many animal activists, support the anti-whaling legislation.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the absence of legalized whaling, some countries have embraced an alternative pastime to boost their economy. To be more specific, the practice of whale watching has filled a void left by the absence of the whaling sector. And this is not only sustainable but profitable too.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, not every country is eager to see whaling replaced with its more passive counterpart. It’s important to note that the IWC didn’t ban aboriginal subsistence whaling, which has large cultural significance. And this has recently been at the center of some online debate.

ADVERTISEMENT

On August 6, 2018, a member of the indigenous Canadian Inuk community called Albert Netser posted a picture of his son on his first ever beluga whale hunt. This coming-of-age tradition is important to the Inuk, but the photo caused a social media uproar. Irate tweeters consequently bombarded Netser with offensive messages.

ADVERTISEMENT

Netser countered derogatory comments with a level-headed attempt to educate the commenters on his traditions. “There are some pretty harsh things that were mentioned,” he told news site CBC on August 10, 2018. “I’m just happy my son didn’t see them.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“[The commenters] do mean well maybe for the animal,” Netser continued. “But they just don’t know our culture as well.” However, the resulting exposure did change some people’s views, at least with regards to the Inuk lifestyle. But that’s not the only controversial whale story of late.

ADVERTISEMENT

On November 7, 2018, global news network RT highlighted a whaling issue on an entirely different scale. A drone camera captured the shocking footage, which has since left animal lovers and activists appalled. The recording took place on Russia’s Pacific coast in the Nakhodka port vicinity.

ADVERTISEMENT

The sinister sight shows a compound housing ten glass tanks floating on the ocean’s surface. Nine of them are full of moving shapes. Investigators later sent out a helicopter to get a better look at the base, and further recordings confirmed their fears.

ADVERTISEMENT

Journalist and campaigner, Masha Netrebenko, discussed the discovery with the Daily Mirror on November 6, 2018. He said, “From the air we saw… loads of white beluga whales in enclosures built in the water.” The site is a holding pen for aquatic mammals, which some media outlets are now calling a “whale jail.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The footage reveals 90 beluga whales and 11 orcas (or killer whales) swimming restlessly in the tanks. “The scale of what is happening here is shocking,” Netrebenko continued. “But the picture I have seen has deeply shaken me.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Although it’s unclear exactly what’s happening to the mammals, activists are clearly concerned that it’s nothing good. One theory is that the captors are selling whales to China’s lucrative sea life parks. Whatever the truth is, the compound’s owners are seemingly sending their prisoners somewhere.

ADVERTISEMENT

Additional surveillance reveals a crane depositing one of the whales on the shore, apparently for transport to parts unknown. Given the scale and sophistication of the compound, it would seem that whoever is responsible is well-organized. “Apparently these businessmen are so prepared that they even installed jammers,” Netrebenko revealed.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the Daily Mirror, prosecutors are investigating four businesses involved with the whale jail. Journalists haven’t named any of them, but they allegedly have an annual license for keeping 13 orcas. However, investigators seem to be under the impression that the licence was given for more honorable purposes.

ADVERTISEMENT

Indeed, the license would likely have been granted under the assumption that the businesses were catching whales for education or, ironically, for conservation. And there’s also the question of how old the mammals are, as catching beluga calves is highly illegal. Unfortunately, journalistic efforts to infiltrate the compound have thus far failed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Security caught investigating photographer Nina Zyryanova attempting to expose the site’s activity. They took both her camera and its accompanying memory card. Netrebenko claimed that “profitable [businesses] tied to people particularly close [to the Kremlin]” are involved.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I have seen orcas, white whales and whales in the ocean… many times,” Netrebenko commented. “And [I’m] confident that only the ocean can be their home. Not these tiny enclosures where intelligent creatures are stuffed like fish in a tin. I don’t know who you need to be to put them here and… to allow trading them as soulless pieces of meat.”

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT