On November 23, 2010, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke condemned Iceland's decision to escalate their annual whale hunt and international trade in endangered fin whale meat:
“The United States strongly opposes Iceland’s defiance of the commercial whaling ban. We urge Iceland to cease international trade of whale meat and work with the international community to safeguard whale species,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “It is troubling that Iceland continues to pursue commercial whaling outside the boundaries of the [International Whaling Commission], without member oversight or analysis by the Commission’s scientific committee.”
Iceland is violating the IWC's moratorium on commercial whaling, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) ban on international trade in whale products.
Monica Medina, the U.S. Commissioner to the IWC, said that Iceland's actions "send a clear message that Iceland is not interested in cooperative international conservation of whales."
Under the Pelly Amendment, the U.S. government can take action against a country that is undermining international conservation efforts. Tell Secretary Locke, Commissioner Medina, and President Obama to hold Iceland accountable for violating international agreements and putting whale species at risk.
Photo credit: Lori Mazzuca
Iceland's annual take is well above what scientists believe is a sustainable number for the fin whale population. Iceland is violating the IWC's moratorium on commercial whaling, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) ban on international trade in whale products. The country's recent escalation of whaling activities in defiance of these international agreements makes it clear that they have no interest in global conservation efforts.
I am joining conservation groups and the Change.org community in urging you to take action and hold Iceland accountable for undermining international conservation efforts.