An alarm was sounded by the authorities of Norway after a beluga whale was spotted wearing a special Russian-made strap, where a camera was attached.
The first suspicions of the authorities were whether the whale came from a Russian military establishment and was trained to undertake submarine espionage missions. Inscription on the belt said “equipment St. Petersburg,” said Joergen Ree Wiig of the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries. The whale last week was spotted by fishermen in the Arctic Ocean near Norway and dove into the water to remove the special strap, which caused the keen interest of officials in the armed forces of the country.
Professor of Biology at the Arctic University in Tromso, northern Norway, Aunut Rickarden believes that “there is probably the whale involves the Russian Navy in Murmansk,” where Russia has large military installations.
So far, he has not clarified what the whale was trained to do or what Russian military activities in the area it had participated in. “It is a domesticated animal that has been accustomed to being fed and that’s why he approached the fishermen. The question is whether he can survive alone. We have seen cases of other captive whales in Russia doing well finding food,” added Rickarden.
Russia has no historical use of whales for military purposes, but in the Soviet era there was a dolphin training program in Sevastopol, Crimea, used to locate mines or other objects and to place explosives near hostile targets. The facilities there were shut down after the collapse of the USSR, but information indicated they were reopened following the annexation of the Crimea to Russia.