A group of prominent actors, activists and scientists is opposing an attempt by the Georgia Aquarium to import beluga whales from Russia.
The aquarium applied in June 2012 to import 18 whales, saying it would help improve the genetic diversity of belugas living in captivity in the U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries denied the application in August 2013.
The aquarium then went to federal court to get that decision overturned.
A group that includes actors Kim Basinger, Edward Norton and Hayden Panettiere submitted a brief this week asking the judge in the case to uphold the denial of the permit. They argue marine mammals should not be removed from the wild for purposes of public display.