Late last week the Directorate of Fisheries commissioned advise from the Institute of Marine Research about what should be done with the beluga whale that appeared off the Finnmark coast in late April. Since first appearing, the whale has sought out people in Tufjord in Måsøy municipality and in Hammerfest. The advice is now available, and the Institute of Marine Research believes that the duty to help pursuant to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act means that the animal should be fed “in accordance with a professionally based regime”.
“Furthermore, the possibility of transferring the whale to a facility that is suitable for keeping beluga whales should be considered,” writes the Institute of Marine Research in the letter to the Directorate of Fisheries.
The institute points out no such facility for keeping whales exists in Norway.
“If this whale comes from a facility in Russia near the Norway-Russia border, the best and fastest solution would be if the animal could be returned there. That would be the shortest way,” the letter says.
Should this solution not be possible, the institute believes that other relevant facilities abroad must be considered.