Pamela Anderson in June 2015.
Paul A. Hebert—Invision/AP
By Nolan Feeney
July 8, 2015

What do Pamela Anderson and Vladimir Putin have in common? Try a love of the outdoors: The Canadian-American actress and longtime animal rights activist is calling on the Russian president and fellow animal-lover to take action against the whale meat trade.

Over the weekend Anderson wrote an open letter to Putin asking him to block passage of the Winter Bay, a ship reportedly containing 1,700 tons of fin whale that’s meat en route to Japan from Iceland—two of three countries in the world where whaling is still legal, Quartz reports.

The ship is in violation of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which has already prevented Winter Bay from passing through the Panama or Suez canals, according to the Sea Shepard Conservation Society. The Russian Federation is a CITES signatory, which means Putin has the power to block the Winter Bay from going through Russian territory via the Bearing Strait should he hear Anderson’s plea.

Here’s her full letter from July 5, via Quartz:

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 Tromsø, 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.

Yours Sincerely,
Pamela Anderson

Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com.

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