The fin whale is an endangered species that is in dire need of protection. IFAW is working hard to ensure the U.S. government takes action to protect them.
The Department of Interior is taking the necessary first step by certifying Iceland under the Pelly Amendment for its continued commercial killing of this endangered species. However, it is critical that the U.S. government receives your support during this time urging the President to report to congress by April 7th on the actions that will be taken against Iceland, while continuing to enforce the diplomatic measures issued under the 2011 Pelly certification by Commerce.
Please sign to send a personal note to President Barack Obama.
Fin whales are listed as an appendix I species under CITES, which means international trade in these species for commercial purposes is prohibited. Additionally, in 1982, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) set catch limits for all commercial whaling at zero after whales had been heavily hunted during the 20th century. This moratorium is still in effect.
Unfortunately, the Icelandic government continues to disregard both CITES and IWC by allowing a millionaire and rogue whaler to commercially slaughter the endangered fin whale. He killed 280 fin whales during the 2007-2011 hunting seasons and killed 134 fin whales in just the recent 2013 season.
The Certification of Iceland stands as an official acknowledgement by the United States that the lone fin whaler’s whaling practices diminish the effectiveness of both the IWC and CITES by threatening an already endangered species. Additionally, the Certification supports the growing sentiment within Iceland against whaling practices, as well as Iceland’s economic initiative to embrace whale watching as a sustainable economic alternative to commercial whaling.
Given the dire circumstances of the fin whale, I would like to again thank you and your administration for taking a stand against Iceland’s commercial whaling and would like to reiterate the need for continued pressure through enforcement of diplomatic and other targeted measures. Strong US leadership is necessary to address Iceland’s renegade whaling and trade, and I urge you to do everything you can to stop even one more fin whale from being slaughtered.