It usually takes about 6 to 8 weeks for a permit and to mount a capture operation. While the quota was only issued Aug. 4, Whale and Dolphin Conservation says that the captures reportedly took place in July.
One paper that was presented to the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee in Slovenia last May noted that wild orca captures can hurt the population, because there is not enough data on the whale population in that part of the world to support wild capture:
The live-capture of killer whales raises concerns because it targets the same local stock of transient killer whales in the western Okhotsk Sea. Russian officials deny the existence of killer whale ecotypes in the Russian Far East, and consequently do not manage fish-eating and mammal-eating killer whales as different management units. No reliable abundance estimates of either killer whale ecotype in the Okhotsk Sea is available.
For now, Hoyt is asking the Russian fisheries inspectors to provide a factual account of the orcas taken as well as to report essential biological information about each whale. He also hopes to find out whether permits were in place for the captures.