The time has come for Iceland to pay a steep price for its inhumane and illegal slaughter of whales.
But that may only happen if hundreds of thousands of us speak out now with one powerful voice that cannot be ignored.
Let me explain. The U.S. Commerce Secretary has just formally declared that Iceland is defying the international ban on commercial whaling.
That declaration starts the clock ticking on a 60-day period during which President Obama must decide whether or not to impose trade sanctions on Iceland.
Please join me in urging the President to impose tough sanctions and make Iceland pay a real, measurable price for its mass killing of whales.
Iceland has proven that it will thumb its nose at anything less -- and will go right on slaughtering whales for profit. In 2004, the United States denounced Iceland in the same manner -- but failed to impose sanctions -- and Iceland proceeded to ramp up its awful slaughter.
Since 2006, Iceland has killed 280 endangered fin whales and more than 200 minke whales. In the last two years alone, it has exported millions of dollars worth of whale meat, blubber and oil to Japan, Norway, Latvia and Belarus.
Iceland is not only flouting the ban on whaling, it is depleting whale populations at an alarming rate. It’s practically begging to be sanctioned.
Please ask President Obama to make Iceland pay a price at long last -- for the sake of whale survival. For starters, he could target imports by those Icelandic seafood companies directly tied to the whaling industry.
But do not assume for a second that such presidential action is a sure thing. In fact, the U.S. has never before imposed sanctions on another nation for whaling. That’s why it’s so important that President Obama feel a groundswell of public support if he is to take this next historic step.
Please make your own voice heard inside the White House.
You can be sure that Iceland will not end the abhorrent practice of whaling until it is forced to do so. Let’s fight 'em. Again and again.
Natural Resources Defense Council
Brosnan photo © Greg Gorman