Take Action During International Whale Week!
Help Save the Last of a Dying Breed
here to Read More About the Threats to the Western Pacific Grey
February 19, 2003,
is recognized in Russia as International Whale Day, a day to celebrate
and protect the world's largest creatures. It is part of Whale
Week, an internationally recognized week to appreciate
and protect whales.
A species of whale that calls
the shores of the Russian Far East their home is facing an
immediate threat. Russian environmentalists and whale enthusiasts
are seeking international action to save these endangered
whales! We are asking you to join us and our friends at Russia's
Living Seas Coalition in taking action to save the
last of these creatures.
The Western Pacific Gray Whale
is recognized around the world as critically endangered. Less
than 100 whales remain in the population. The International Whaling
Commission has called on nations worldwide to reduce man-made
impacts to whale habitat. The whales migrate between Sakhalin
Island in the Sea of Okhotsk, the shores of the Korean Peninsula,
and possibly the South China Sea.
The most critical area for survival
of the Western Pacific Gray Whale is its feeding grounds offshore
of northern Sakhalin. The Western Pacific Gray Whale spends from
May to November - the ice-free season - in its limited feeding
area, building up enough fat to survive its winter migration.
The icy sea around Sakhalin is teeming with life and creates the
perfect, and only, feeding grounds for these graceful creatures.
In the last few years, life has
taken a turn for the worse for these beautiful giants. Their feeding
grounds, unfortunately, coincide with the location of large offshore
oil and gas deposits. And now, two international oil consortiums
led by Shell and ExxonMobil are drilling for oil and gas off Sakhalin's
shores in and nearby the Western Pacific Gray Whale feeding grounds..
Both companies have carried out underwater seismic blasts as part
of their underwater testing, and Shell has dumped drilling waste
directly into the sea.
The impact on the whales has been
profound. In 1999, scientists for the first time reported "skinny
whales," or whales that were showing visible signs of malnourishment.
By 2000, 27 - more than a quarter of the population - skinny whales
were identified. Skinny whales have continued to be observed in
2001 and 2002. Scientists fear that continued and expanded oil
drilling projects will stop any chance the whales have for recovering.
If these oil consortiums have
their way, then this is only the beginning. the companies plan
to build piers, underwater oil pipelines, and another oil platform.
This activity violates Russian
law, which forbids carrying out any work that negatively impacts
an endangered species. However, the Russian government has been
slow to enforce these laws, and the big oil companies are taking
advantage of this legal vacuum.
Take Action to Help the Western
Pacific Grey Whales!
There is still time to prevent
these projects from harming the whales' survival! Shell
and ExxonMobil can move forward only after receiving positive
environmental impact reviews from the Russian government. Writer
a letter, send a fax, or make a phone call before or on February
19 to any or all of the key decision-makers below. Click on
one of the names below for a sample letter and contact information.
A letter or a fax has the greatest impact!
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia
· Lee Raymond, President
· Phillip Watts, Chairman,
Please also send a copy to
1440 Broadway, Suite 306
Oakland, CA 94612
We will provide your letters to
international financial institutions that are considering support
for these oil companies in order to demonstrate that these oil
companies need to clean up their act on Sakhalin before their
projects can be supported!
to Read More About the Threats to the Western Pacific Grey Whale
read a detailed article about ExxonMobil harming the whales, from
"The Ecologist" Magazine, click here.
"Whale, you're the weak link. Good bye!"
About International Whale Day:
Day is being celebrated in Russia on February 19. It is
part of the internationally recognized Whale Week. Environment
and conservation organizations all over the globe use this week
to organize actions to protect whales and marine mammals. Often,
citizens unite to defend one unique species that is threatened
with extinction. For example, in 2000, concerned people all around
the world were able to save the Gray Whales that were threatened
in the San Ignacio Lagoon in Mexico, where a proposed salt factory
to be built by Mitsubishi threatened their breeding grounds. Thanks
to this massive international action, the Mexican government halted
the project, and the breeding ground was saved from the plant's
here for a Russian language site about Whale Day!
Back to Whale page