Iceland and Norway are the only two countries in the world that continue to permit commercial whaling. Much of the meat is either sent to Japan for human consumption or fed to tourists as a novelty. (Japan is still permitted to hunt whales for "scientific purposes", though the meat is sold for food.) There is no humane way to kill whales at sea and since 2006 (when Iceland resumed commercial whaling) hundreds of endangered fin whales and minke whales have been killed.
A few days ago, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and the U.S. Department of Commerce formally declared that Iceland is undermining the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) by hunting whales in defiance of the IWC’s global ban on commercial whaling. As a result of this declaration, President Obama now has 60 days to decide whether to impose economic penalties and/or trade sanctions against Iceland pursuant to legislation known as the ‘Pelly Amendment’. Diplomatic negotiations and disapproval of other countries have so far failed to stop this practice.
Additionally, conservationists and animal welfare supporters are urging tourists to boycott Iceland and its whale watching excursions. Tourism is one of the countries primary revenue generators as visitors go whale watching and, in some instances, back to town to sample whale meat! Arni Gunnarsson, the chairperson of the Icelandic Travel Industry Association, who is of the position that whale hunting is not profitable and taints Iceland's' global reputation, further stated in support of stopping the cruel behavior, stated: "It's simple: you get more revenues out of watching the whales than out of hunting them."
Doing the right thing is in itself its just reward, and, in this case, it pays better.
President Obama has 60 days to make a decision. Please contact him and urge him to protect whales and sanction Iceland.
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