Ga. aquarium denied permit to import 18 belugas - CBS46 News

Ga. aquarium denied permit to import 18 belugas

Posted: Updated:
ATLANTA (AP) -

Georgia Aquarium officials say the National Marine Fisheries Service has denied its application to import beluga whales from Russia.

In a statement Tuesday, Georgia Aquarium spokeswoman Meghann Gibbons said aquarium officials were deeply disappointed in the decision.

The aquarium applied in July 2012 to import 18 whales as part of an initiative aimed at improving the genetic diversity of belugas living in American captivity.

Georgia Aquarium zoologists have said most belugas living in America are past their prime calf-bearing age, and importing new ones could improve breeding efforts.

Officials from the Humane Society of the United States say nearly 9,000 people submitted comments in opposition of the import proposal, and the Humane Society sponsored a petition that generated more than 69,000 signatures in opposition.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
CBS Atlanta
Powered by WorldNow
All content © 2000-2014 WorldNow and WGCL-TV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.