Commercial Whaling-spanning the globe from Japan to Iceland

by Phil Kline

January 28, 2011

fin whales

We continue to work to end all commercial whaling at the global scale campaigning on many fronts.

Many of you have already contacted President Obama asking him to live up to his campaign promise to end all commercial whaling by reforming the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and putting an end to the “research loophole” that Japan uses to continue hunting whales. 

I’m sure you’ve seen the grim pictures of Japan’s whale hunt in the Southern Ocean—where they are targeting endangered fin whales and killing hundreds of minke whales in an unnecessary hunt for meat that almost no one in Japan wants to eat. Whale meat sales there fell 30% last year and record amounts are building up in frozen storage.

But, span the globe from the Southern Ocean, north to Iceland and you’ll discover more illegal, unnecessary commercial whaling.

Iceland is setting their harpoons on endangered Fin whales. In my opinion, Iceland is going even farther than Japan in its defiance of international laws and agreements. Iceland hunts Fin whales for the export of whale products—they aren’t trying to disguise it as research, they’re commercial whaling in front of the whole world.  

Here in the US we have a law that has some real teeth in dealing with rogue nations like Iceland.  The US can impose trade sanctions against Iceland’s illegal whaling companies. This would put pressure on the Iceland government to halt commercial whaling before other nation’s follow in the US’s footsteps, imposing trade sanctions.

But, in order to impose trade sanctions, President Obama must sign a declaration and enact it immediately. This is where I need your help!

We are now expanding our ask to President Obama to do exactly that—impose trade sanctions against the Icelandic company involved in their commercial Fin whale slaughter.

Please take action today by asking the Obama Administration to use its muscle to help put an end to the Icelandic hunting of endangered fin whales.

We already have President Obama’s attention, thanks to the hundreds of thousands of caring people who asked him to help save whales from the harpoons of Japanese whalers.

The President knows that Americans love whales and don’t want to see them needlessly slaughtered.

Please speak up for the whales once more and take action today.

Phil Kline

By Phil Kline

Phil is a senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace USA. He is a recognized expert on oceans policy domestically and internationally, and has represented Greenpeace U.S. at International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meetings around the globe.

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