In actuality, beluga whales are relatively abundant worldwide, numbering at least 150,000, and probably more. Beluga whales are also extremely social. They swim long distances together, hunt together and interact using a variety of sounds. In certain regions of Alaska, however, the population is suffering because of human activities: hunting, harvesting and devastation to the environment.
As for the 18 Russian belugas, who were caught after the Georgia Aquarium expressed its intention to import them, it is not immediately clear what their future holds.
The Georgia Aquarium did not immediately respond to The Dodo's request for comment.
Things really are getting better for marine animals. Watch a video about some of the progress below: