Death Knell For Whales: Iceland Resumes Whaling!

Newspapers from Japan to Los Angeles are reporting that Icelandic whaling ships have killed their first whale, just one day after the ships launched on a supposed "scientific whaling" venture. The minke whale killed on Monday (8/18) was reportedly only 17 feet long, still just a juvenile.

On August 6, 2003, Iceland announced its intention to commence whaling for "scientific" purposes, exploiting a loophole in the 1986 international ban on commercial whaling imposed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). In doing so, Iceland joins Japan in flouting the spirit of the whaling ban, with its specious claims of a scientific imperative. The killing plan is being opposed by almost all members of the IWC, which issued an official statement expressing "deep concern that the provision permitting special-permit whaling enables countries to conduct whaling for commercial purposes despite the moratorium on commercial whaling."

Whaling is so terrible in part because there is no method of killing whales that can be considered "humane." Whether whales are killed with explosive harpoons or bullets, death is rarely instantaneous; a "struck and landed" whale may suffer anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. And contrary to general humane slaughter laws throughout the world, there is no present method of killing whales that renders them instantaneously insensible to the pain of their deaths.

We need to stop Iceland before its whaling becomes entrenched, as is the case in Japan and Norway. Iceland must honor the international moratorium and abandon all plans to resume whaling. Please contact the Icelandic embassy and let officials know that you are deeply troubled by Iceland's whaling.

Embassy of Iceland
1156 15th Street NW
Suite 1200
Washington D.C. 20005-1704
Fax: 202-265-6656

The Icelandic Tourist Board is also likely to be sensitive to the ways in which Iceland's new killing venture is affecting its public image:

Icelandic Tourist Board
655 Third Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017


Fax: 212-885-9710

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