ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Aquarium says it has filed a complaint in federal court seeking to overturn the denial of its application to import beluga whales from Russia.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries denied the aquarium's application in August. The aquarium says it filed the complaint Monday in Atlanta.
A spokeswoman for NOAA Fisheries did not immediately respond to an email and phone call seeking comment Monday afternoon.
The aquarium applied in June 2012 to import 18 whales as part of an initiative aimed at improving the genetic diversity of belugas living in American captivity.
Georgia Aquarium zoologists have said most belugas living in America are past their prime calf-bearing age, and importing new ones could improve breeding efforts.
The Georgia Aquarium draws 2.2 million guests per year.