The Institute of Oceanology, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is one institution that has been researching Belugas for at least the last eight years. Research has been centred on the behaviour and communication patterns of the whales off the remote Solovetsky Island on Russia's White Sea, along with threats to the whales.
Dr Roman Belikov from the Institute of Oceanology has been studying threats to the whales. He says that shipping, energy projects concerning oil and gas, and even ecotourism are threatening the whales. Russia is considering developing energy reserves in the Barents Sea.
Their research is funded by IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare.