New Poll: Large Majorities Support Obama’s Pledge to Strengthen Ban on Commercial Whaling

WASHINGTON - Jan 11, 2011 - Greenpeace delivered results of a new nationwide poll today to the White House showing overwhelming majorities of Americans oppose Japan’s whaling plans, and want President Obama to stand by his campaign pledge to strengthen the international ban on commercial whaling.

“Americans overwhelmingly support President Obama’s pledge to strengthen the international ban on commercial whaling,” said Greenpeace Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar, “The President and his Administration can keep his pledge by using all available diplomatic tools to make sure the International Whaling Commission moves into the 21st Century with a clear remit to protect the globe’s whales and not simply hand out kill quotas.”

Results of the nationwide survey of 1000 Americans, conducted by ORC Caravan, include:

  •  86% of Americans oppose Japan's plans to catch whales in the Southern Ocean, including 69% who “strongly oppose” those plans
  • 83% of Americans think President Obama should stand by his campaign pledge to strengthen the international ban on commercial whaling
  • Opposition to Japan’s whaling plans and support for Obama’s pledge to strengthen the ban on commercial whaling is high across all geographic regions and among both men and women

As a candidate, President Obama said in response to a Greenpeace questionnaire: “As president, I will ensure that the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing international wildlife protection agreements, including strengthening the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable.”

To keep this pledge, Greenpeace is urging President Obama and his Administration to use all available diplomatic tools to ensure that the “like minded” conservation members gain the two-thirds majority required to amend the International Whaling Commission convention.  In addition, the Obama Administration should work to increase the participation of civil society and instill a new era of transparency at the IWC.

For the complete poll results and methodology, see http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/legacy/Global/usa/planet3/PDFs/oceans/Whaling%20Poll.pdf

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