Earth Island Institute

ECO: The environmental voice at the IWC

ECO is published by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission on behalf of environmental and animal welfare organizations around the globe.

For further information, please contact: Mark J. Palmer, Associate Director, Earth Island Institute, International Marine Mammal Project.

Previous volumes of ECO are available here.


Volume LXIV · Panama City, Panama · No. 1 · Monday July 2, 2012
Acrobat .pdf of issue

Sanction Iceland

US environmentalists are asking the Obama Administration to take further steps, including trade sanctions, against Iceland for continuing to undermine international agreements through their whaling scheme. Iceland has increased quotas for their whaling program, enacted in defiance of the international moratorium on commercial whaling.

In fact, Iceland plans to kill fin whales in the north Atlantic, a species severely depleted worldwide by whaling. (Claims of its abundance are greatly exaggerated.) An Icelandic union dispute has put the fin whale effort on hold for the moment, but the dispute is reportedly near settlement, setting up a fin whale blood bath in the north for this summer.

Iceland continues to violate the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) by sending boatloads of whale meat and blubber to Japan and other countries, as much as 648 tons to Japan alone since September 2011.

Iceland is currently certified as in violation of the US Pelly Amendment, which under US law allows the President to invoke sanctions against countries that undermine international fisheries treaties. So far, President Obama has refused to use trade sanctions against Iceland, preferring diplomacy in joint meetings between the US and Iceland. Iceland, the environmental groups point out, has only increased its quotas and activity since being certified.