U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gary Locke, has urged Iceland to stop their international whale meat trade. He said that they need to join with nations and individuals in global efforts to save the whales. Secretary Locke said, "the United States strongly opposes Iceland's defiance of the commercial whaling ban ... 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 oversight or analysis by the Commission's scientific committee."
Iceland is blatantly violating international protections for whales and has increased their whale hunt. Endangered whales are being hunted and killed and their meat is being exported. Iceland is therefore violating two major international agreements: the ban on commercial whaling and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) ban on international trade in whale products.
Secretary Locke has indicated that the U.S. is "evaluating potential domestic responses" to Iceland's escalation of their whale hunt. Monica Medina, U.S. Commissioner to the IWC, said Iceland's continued hunt "sends a clear message that Iceland is not interested in cooperative international conservation of whales."
- U.S. Ambassador to Iceland
Hjálmar W. Hannesson
- Iceland Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture
- U.S. Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission
Dear Minister Bjarnason and Ambassador Hannesson:
We ask that Iceland end the cruelty and suffering that threatens whale populations and that the rest of the world condemns. Please recognize that whales are worth more to Iceland - and the world - alive than dead. The argument that whales need to be hunted to protect fish stocks is not verified, and is an over-simplified excuse for killing whales. Iceland has a lucrative whale-watching industry that generates a large income for Iceland. This alone is sufficient reason to end the inhumane practice of whaling and selling of whale meat to Japan.
Please do the right thing and stop the suffering caused by your country’s unnecessary whaling.
Dear Under Secretary Medina,
We ask that through your influence as U.S. Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), you bring all resources that you can to end Iceland’s unnecessary and cruel whaling practices.
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