Portoroz, Slovenia, 15 September 2014 – The 28 member states of the European Union have been joined by the US, Australia, Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico and Monaco in issuing a diplomatic demarche against Iceland over its whaling activities. In a letter delivered to government officials in Reykjavik today, the countries expressed their opposition to Iceland’s commercial whaling and to its international trade in whale meat, which they say are out of accord with the country’s treaty obligations.
This letter comes during the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Slovenia this week. The IWC is the operational body of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), the world’s only global body that manages whaling.
In response to today’s international condemnation of Iceland, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Leigh Henry, senior policy advisor for wildlife conservation:
“Iceland has already killed 116 endangered fin whales this year. We’ve also seen an unprecedented increase in exports of fin whale meat from Iceland to Japan, despite international regulations restricting such trade between countries.
WWF joins these governments in calling on Iceland to adhere to the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on commercial whaling, and to commit to ending its fin whale hunt and international trade.”
In April of this year, in response to Iceland’s actions, President Obama announced that the US would take strong diplomatic measures against the country for these illegal activities.