World-renowned actress Pamela Anderson has sent a personal request to Russian President Vladimir Putin to ask that Russia take measures to prevent the passage of the St. Kitt's-registered cargo vessel WINTER BAY through the Northeast Passage to Japan.
The WINTER BAY is carrying more than 1,700 tons of endangered fin whale meat from Iceland.
Because the cargo is illegal and a violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Icelandic shipment could not be sent via the Panama or Suez Canal and the ships could not stop in any European, North American, South American or African ports.
President Putin has the power to send the whale meat back to Iceland by refusing passage of this illegal cargo through Russian waters.
The WINTER BAY was discovered and documented last week in Tromsø, Norway by the Sea Shepherd ship SAM SIMON, where the smugglers have been waiting for the Northeast Passage to be opened.
Iceland has once again ignored international conservation law and is in violation of CITES by killing fin whales and shipping the illegally exploited whale meat to Japan.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society supports the efforts of Pamela Anderson and the Pamela Anderson Foundation in opposing this illegal trade in endangered whales.
"Pamela Anderson has established herself as an influential and powerful voice for animals and the environment," said Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson. "Her name is well known throughout the world, including Russia, and Pamela understands very well that celebrities have the power to reach the ears of the powerful with important messages that would otherwise not be heard."
The WINTER BAY is still berthed in Tromsø, Norway waiting for permission from the Russians to transit through the Arctic Ocean to Japan.
President Putin has the opportunity to demonstrate that Russia is prepared to uphold the laws against the trade in endangered species.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society joins Pamela Anderson in respectfully requesting that President Putin stop the whale meat smugglers from entering Russian territorial waters.
Below is the English text of the letter sent by Pamela Anderson to President Putin:
July 5, 2015
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,
I believe that we both share a mutual love for animals and a deep respect for nature and for this reason I would like to make a personal request to you, on behalf of endangered Fin whales. At this moment there is a ship in Tromso, Norway called the Winter Bay. It is carrying a cargo of 1,700 tons of Fin whale meat. These whales were killed illegally in violation of the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on commercial whaling. It is also illegal to kill Fin whales and to engage in the trade of endangered species. The Winter Bay was unable to transit the Suez Canal or the Panama Canal or to transit via Europe or Africa for fear of being stopped by the appropriate authorities. The Winter Bay intends to transit through Russian waters with assistance of Russian icebreakers to deliver this illegal cargo to Japan. President Putin, you can stop this illegal transit by forbidding this vessel from carrying a cargo of endangered Fin whale meat through Russian waters to Japan. I would like to respectfully ask you to consider investigating this shipment and to do what you can to prevent it from transiting to Japan an illegal cargo. Your decision could put an end to the needless slaughter of endangered whales by Iceland. Thank you Mr. President for your consideration of my request.