Whale found with harness on ‘may belong to Russian navy’ | World News

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A beluga whale wearing a harness which was spotted by fishermen off Norway’s coast could belong to the Russian navy, according to reports.

The Norwegian directorate of fisheries posted pictures and video on social media saying: “White whale off the Finnmarkkysten coast that had tight straps fastened around the body is free.

“Crew from the Fisheries Directorate’s Sea Service are trained to release whales from ropes and fishing gear and, together with the local fisherman Joar Hesten, they managed to liberate the whale.”

One of the fishermen told Norway’s national broadcaster NRK that there were “two round straps” fastened around the whale.

“They were clipped with buckles,” he added.

Pic: Jørgen Ree Wiig, fiskeridirektoratet
Image:
Pic: Jorgen Ree Wiig, fiskeridirektoratet

The Guardian reported the harness had “equipment of St Petersburg” written inside it.

“When I was lying in the water, he came all the way up to the side, and I managed to reach the front buckle and open it,” the fisherman said.

Pic: Jørgen Ree Wiig, fiskeridirektoratet
Image:
Pic: Jorgen Ree Wiig, fiskeridirektoratet

Audun Rikardsen, a professor at the department of arctic and marine biology at the Arctic University of Norway, told the national broadcaster: “We know that in Russia they have had domestic whales in captivity and also that some of these have apparently been released. Then they often seek out boats.”

Mr Rikardsen said he had spoken with Russian counterparts who said they did not know of any scientific projects involving belugas.

“They tell me that most likely is the Russian navy in Murmansk,” he said.



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