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Bottlenose dolphins © Christopher Swann

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US steps up the pressure to end Icelandic Whaling

Iceland urged to become Whale Nation rather than whaling nation.

In a move designed to increase pressure on Iceland to take action against its rogue whaling company, Hvalur hf, US President, Barack Obama, has responded to calls by WDC and a coalition of NGOs by ordering federal authorities to greatly increase diplomatic sanctions against Icelandic interests.

Whilst WDC believes economic sanctions are also warranted, we recognise that the statement by President Obama has clearly identified to the Icelandic people that one man and one company is making Iceland a pariah nation and Iceland needs to take action to stop the killing of endangered fin whales.

This move by the US government allows for the most extreme of diplomatic measures to be enacted, just short of economic sanctions, including making  future cooperation between the US and Iceland contingent upon Iceland changing its whaling policy and abiding by the IWC moratorium. As Iceland absorbs the implications of the recent ICJ decision against Japan, we hope that its government seizes this last chance of an olive branch to engage with the rest of the international community and end this archaic and unnecessary industry.

WDC has long supported the growth of responsible whale watching in Iceland: an industry that generates many times more revenue for the Icelandic economy than fin whaling does for one man. WDC continues to believe that Iceland is an incredible country with some incredible people. Its one major failing is its willingness to suffer the slings and arrows of misfortune generated by the greed and warped ideology of one man, Kristjan Loftsson.

 At a time when Icelandic parliamentarians are calling for an investigation into the problems caused for Iceland by the zealotry and arrogance of its single fin whaler and a small group of minke whalers, we hope that, with the recent ICJ ruling indicating how the international community really feels about whaling, Iceland seizes this opportunity offered by the US to end its whaling once and for all.

How you can help

Help WDC stop the EU from allowing Icelandic whale products to pass through EU ports

About Vanessa Williams-Grey

Policy manager - Stop Whaling and Responsible Whale Watching