The International Whaling Committee's annual meeting just ended without success as the delegates failed to achieve any new protections for whales. As a result, Japan will continue to kill almost 1,000 whales annually under the guise of scientific research, and Norway and Iceland will continue to hunt whales commercially.
The global whaling industry has driven one whale population after another toward extinction. It is still not known if some species will ever recover, even after decades of protection.
After the failure of the IWC to address pressing whale conservation issues, it's time for the Obama Administration to lead the global fight for whale conservation outside of the IWC using all the tools available to the US government. Let President Obama know how much we care about protecting these beautiful and unique creatures.
For more than three decades, the United States led international efforts to protect the world's whales from commercial whaling. This led to the commercial whaling moratorium of 1986, which was both a victory for whale conservation and a milestone for U.S. environmental diplomacy.
Despite these efforts, Japan blatantly disregards the ban on commercial whaling, and Iceland just resumed whaling a few days before the start of the IWC meetings.
Just as these countries have gone outside the realm of the IWC to harm whales, the United States must use its own influence and tools to protect them. I support the United States leading the global fight for whale conservation.