Kate Mara, Mark Ruffalo Join Call for Putin to Free Orcas From ‘Whale Jail’

For Immediate Release:
March 18, 2019

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Washington – Over the weekend, a coalition of celebrities and PETA supporters—including actors Kate Mara, Mark Ruffalo, Maisie Williams, Hayden Panettiere, Edward Norton, and Adrian Greniersigned onto a letter sent by the Earth Island Institute urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure that the more than 80 whales currently held captive in Srednyaya Bay are released back into their ocean homes.

The letter thanks Putin for his previous efforts to help the whales—including blocking their export to marine mammal parks in other countries and prohibiting new capture permits for 2019—and stresses the importance of providing the animals with larger, insulated enclosures until they can be rehabilitated and released back into their natural habitat.

“We commend the action you have taken so far to block the export of these amazing beings …. and fully support the Russian initiative to implement a permanent ban on capture of Russian orcas and beluga whales,” the letter states. “We would like to ask you to take several important steps for the welfare of the remaining whales in the sea pens … [and] return the orcas and beluga whales to the Sea of Okhotsk and their birth populations when feasible.” It continues, “The world is waiting for a happy ending.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, which is a supremacist view of the world. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

The PETA-supported Earth Island Institute letter to President Putin follows.

President Vladimir Putin                                                        March 17, 2019

Russian Federation

23, Ulitsa Ilyinka,

103132, Moscow, Russia

Russian Federation Embassy

2650 Wisconsin Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20007

Dear President Putin:

We are writing to thank you and the Russian government for steps taken to protect 80+ beluga whales and 10 orcas now held in inadequate conditions in Srednyaya Bay, near the east coast city of Nakhodka.

We commend the action you have taken so far to block the export of these amazing beings to dolphinariums in other countries, as whales and dolphins do not cope well with captivity.  We further commend you and your government for blocking new capture permits for 2019, and fully support the Russian initiative to implement a permanent ban on capture of Russian orcas and beluga whales.  Such an action would prevent the horrible situation playing out in the Far East from happening ever again in the future.

We would like to ask you to take several important steps for the welfare of the remaining whales in the sea pens.  We cannot stress enough that the lives of these whales are in danger, and they need immediate help.  Please consider expanding their current sea pens in size and/or building additional enclosures to reduce the number of animals per pen and introducing insulation and warming protocols to prevent ice from forming in the enclosures.  These steps are critical for the whales’ survival.

We further ask you and the Russian government, in consultation with Russian scientists and Russian non-governmental organizations, to plan to return the orcas and beluga whales to the Sea of Okhotsk and their birth populations when feasible.  There are many international scientists and experts as well who have extensive expertise in successfully rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing orcas to the wild, such as Keiko, Springer and many others.  International experts will be happy to provide their help to Russian colleagues with rehabilitation and release of the orcas and belugas back into the wild.

This is an important moment for Russia on the world stage.​

The world is waiting for a happy ending in this tragic and unfortunate situation. Thank you again for all that you have done, and please take action to protect these magnificent Russian whales!

Sincerely,

Pamela Anderson

Actor

 

Yuliya Aug

Actor

 

Wendy Benchley

Co-Founder, Peter Benchley Ocean Awards

Member, WildAid Board of Directors

 

Sir Richard Branson

Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Jackson Browne

Musician

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Tom Campbell

Cinematographer, Producer, Director

 

Susan Casey

Bestselling Author, Voices from the Ocean

Former Editor-in-Chief, O Magazine

 

Gregory Colbert

Artist, Creator of Ashes and Snow

 

Holly Marie Combs

Actor

 

Celine S. Cousteau

Filmmaker, Environmentalist

 

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Chairman and President, Ocean Futures Society

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Director, Blackfish

 

Beth Davidow

Cinematographer, Filmmaker, Author

 

Kristin Davis

Actor, Environmentalist

 

Saba Douglas-Hamilton

Television Presenter, Wildlife Conservationist

 

Sylvia Earle, PhD

National Geographic Explorer in Residence

Founder, Mission Blue

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE

Founder, Jane Goodall Institute

UN Messenger of Peace

 

Adrian Grenier

Actor, Director, Producer

 

Tom Gruber

Co-Founder of Siri Inc.

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Sati Kazanova

Singer

 

Graeme Kelleher

Former Chairman and CEO, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Yuri Kolokolnikov

Actor

 

Doutzen Kroes

Supermodel, Actor, Environmentalist

 

Ilya Lagutenko

Musician, Mumiy Troll

Founder of VROX.org Festival

 

Kate Mara

Actor

 

Eli Martinez

International TV presenter, Environmentalist

Founder of Shark Diver Magazine

 

Rinal Mukhametov

Actor

 

Leilani Münter

Race Car Driver, Environmentalist

 

Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Edward Norton Jr.

Actor

 

Hayden Panettiere

Actor

 

Prof. Bertrand Piccard

Chair, Solar Impulse Foundation

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Louie Psihoyos

Executive Director, Oceanic Preservation Society

Director, The Cove

 

Mark Ruffalo

Actor, Environmentalist

 

David Shaw

Manager, Black Point Group

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Robert Talbot

Film Maker, Photographer

 

Anne-Marie van Dijk

International Model

 

Natalia Vodianova

Supermodel, Elbi Founder

 

Captain Don Walsh, PhD

USN (Ret)

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Bob Weir

Musician

Member, Ocean Elders

 

Maisie Williams

Actor, Environmentalist

 

Ann Wilson

Musician, Heart

 

Nancy Wilson

Musician, Heart

 

Olga Zueva

Filmmaker

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