Friday, December 24, 2010

Ice(land) Block Ahoy!

When whaling nations feel a harpoon in their wallets, perhaps then they'll realise the rest of the world is sickened by the senseless slaughter.
That time may be nigh. Nineteen conservation and animal welfare groups (representing millions of US citizens) have asked the US Secretaries of Commerce and Interior to impose trade sanctions against Iceland, for its escalating defiance of international conservation agreements on commercial whaling.
A petition by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) on behalf of the ‘Whales Need US’ coalition and Species Survival Network, urges the US to impose conservation legislation known as the "Pelly Amendment" against Iceland. If this happens, it could deal a death blow to Iceland's whaling industry.
[The Pelly Amendment authorises the US president to impose trade sanctions against another country for “diminishing the effectiveness” of conservation agreements; in Iceland’s case, the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which bans commercial whaling, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which prohibits international commercial trade in whale products.]
Iceland resumed commercial whaling in 2006, and dramatically increased its self-allocated quotas in 2009 to include 150 fin whales, an endangered species. In 2010 Iceland exported more than 800 tonnes of whale meat, blubber and oil (more than US$11-million) to Japan, Norway and the Faroe Islands... and made illegal shipments of whale products to Latvia and Belarus.
Any country that breaks international laws must be prepared for consequences. If these are whaling nations, so much the better! The Obama administration is taking a fresh look at Iceland’s renegade whaling and trade, indicating recently that it's “evaluating potential responses”.
Should the USA impose trade sanctions on Iceland, I wonder who'll be next? Japan? The Faroes? Can't wait...
PS: 27 Dec.2010 - The Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners (LÍÚ) believes it can legally continue to hunt whales. LÍÚ claims, when Iceland rejoined the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the country put a reservation on the commercial whaling moratorium: it agreed not to authorise commercial whaling before 2006. After that, whaling would not be authorised while progress was being made on the IWC’s management plan for sustainable whaling.
At the IWC’s 2005 and 2006 AGMs, Iceland warned no progress was being made in those discussions. No-one spotted the trap, thus Iceland was happily able to say that its reservation no longer applied and therefore it was open season again.
But as we all know, it doesn't take much for a whaling nation to "filibuster" a negotiation until it collapses, eg: Japan over whales and tuna at the 2010 IWC. Did Iceland do that at the IWC in 2005 and 2006, to help its own cause?


Bergur Þ. Gunnþórsson said...

The key word is sustainability. The whales in Iceland are hunted in a sustainable manner. Whales are indeed endangered in many parts of the world, just like humans are endangered in some places in Africa and other developing areas. Icelanders have decades of experience with sustainable fisheries, and they know how the ecosystem in the seas work. If whales are left alone they will eat so much that it undermines the ecosystem, if both men and whales harvest the seas there will not be enough food so the whales will die anyhow. Icelanders are the only nation who has a record of being able to sustain populations in the seas, with responsible fishing, other nations can not brag about that. Icelanders can therefore be trusted to take responsibility for the survival of the whales around Iceland, but it is important to harvest them so that they will not take over the delicate ecosystem they can do as much harm to other species as human can. And whales do not take sustainability into account when they are eating, but Icelanders do.

Paul Kravitz, Minn. said...

Are u saying that if u don't kill whales, they'll destroy the ecosystem? That whales will do as much damage to the world as humans have done?
Are u SERIOUS?!!!! Or just plain STUPID?!!!! Pull your head out of your ass - research what whales actually EAT - see if u can find ONE species that has been exterminated by whales - then come back with a rational response.