Obama: Impose Sanctions to Stop Icelandic Whaling

Under a law called the "Pelly amendment," the U.S. Department of Commerce recently reviewed Iceland's whaling activities and determined that the country is undermining global conservation efforts. Now, President Obama has 60 days to determine which actions the U.S. will take to help put an end to Icelandic whaling -- including economic sanctions. Please urge the President to impose sanctions on Iceland until it stops slaughtering whales and exporting whale products.

Iceland has repeatedly disregarded international conservation agreements and drastically increased its whaling activities and international trade in whale products in recent years. Hundreds of endangered fin whales and other whale species have been killed since Iceland resumed whaling in 2006 -- nearly 150 fin whales in 2010 alone! The slaughter of these amazing animals is inhumane, unnecessary and unsustainable -- and needs to end.
Dear President Obama,

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) recently reviewed Iceland's whaling activities and determined them to be "diminishing the effectiveness" of global conservation efforts, such as the International Whaling Commission's ban on whaling. Now, you have 60 days to determine which actions the U.S. will take to help end Icelandic whaling -- including economic sanctions. Please take strong, decisive action against Iceland's defiant whaling activities by imposing economic sanctions and following the recommendations put forth by DOC until they stop slaughtering whales and exporting whale products.

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Iceland has repeatedly disregarded global conservation agreements and drastically increased its whaling activities and international trade in whale products in recent years. Despite past diplomatic pressure from the U.S. and earning certification under the Pelly amendment in 2004 for their lethal scientific research whaling primarily targeting minke whales, Iceland has only increased whaling activities. The number of endangered fin whales killed drastically increased from seven animals in 1987-2007 to nearly 300 animals in 2009-2010. Trade also increased with 290 tons of whale meat exported to Japan in March 2011, marking the single largest shipment since they resumed whaling in 2006.

With the largest whale watching industry in the world -- attracting the annual participation of nearly 5 million Americans, generating nearly $1 billion in revenue per year and directly employing approximately 3,300 individuals -- whale protection is a socio-economic necessity for the U.S., especially in these tough economic times. Rogue whaling by countries such as Iceland could negatively impact sustainable whale watching operations here in the U.S., as well as around the world, since whales easily accessible to the whale watching industry could also become targets for commercial whaling operations. Please support our growing whale watching industry as a sustainable, economically-important and humane alternative to commercial whaling by helping to end Icelandic whaling.

U.S. leadership is crucial to lasting protection for our oceans, including the planet's great whales. I commend DOC for certifying Iceland, but now respectfully encourage you to take the next critical step to end Iceland's defiant whaling activities by imposing strong economic sanctions and following the recommendations put forth by DOC.

The slaughter of whales is inhumane, unnecessary and unsustainable, and it needs to end. Thank you for considering my request and doing your part to end needless animal suffering.
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