American actress Pamela Anderson has penned an open letter imploring Russian President Vladimir Putin to help prevent the smuggling of whale meat, international advocacy group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society announced Tuesday.
Pamela Anderson, known for her starring role in the 1990s hit television series "Baywatch" and a series of celebrity marriages that provided bountiful tabloid fodder, has appealed to Putin to close Russian waters to cargo vessel the "Winter Bay," which is purportedly carrying some 1,700 tons of endangered fin whale meat from Iceland.
"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," Anderson began, before asserting that the ship's cargo is illegal on various bases. "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 vessel is currently in Tromso, Norway, the buxom blonde animal rights activist wrote, adding that it was hoping to transit through Russia "for fear of being stopped by the appropriate authorities" were it to pass through the Panama or Suez Canal, or to dock in any European, North American, South American or African port.
Were Russia to deny the "Winter Bay" access, Anderson wrote, the whale meat cargo would be forced to return to Iceland. At the culmination of her letter, she pleaded with the Russian president: "Your decision could bring an end to the needless slaughter of endangered whales by Iceland."
Whale meat is a popular delicacy in Iceland, though according to advocacy group Whale and Dolphin Conservation, up to 40 percent of whale meat consumed in Iceland is eaten by curious tourists.
It remains unclear whether Putin or his administration have seen the open letter.