Gutierrez Criticizes Icelandic Whale Hunting

WASHINGTON—U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez issued the following statement on Iceland's announcement that they were resuming a commercial whale hunt for minke whales outside the review and control of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). There is currently a global commercial whaling ban.
“This is frustrating news. Iceland is pursuing a completely commercial enterprise driven by profit motive with no oversight by IWC members nor analysis by their scientific committee,” said Gutierrez. “I urge Iceland to reconsider this decision and focus on the overarching principles of the Commission rather than the short-term interests of its whaling industry. At a time when we should be doing more to help protect whales, Iceland is going in the wrong direction,” Gutierrez said, who as Secretary of Commerce, oversees U.S. ocean fishing and conservation of whales and other marine mammals through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The United States, along with other like-minded countries, will continue to push a pro-conservation position through diplomacy efforts at the June International Whaling Commission meeting in Santiago, Chile.
“The United States is deeply disappointed in Iceland’s decision,” said William T. Hogarth, U.S. Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. “The IWC has begun a process to reduce provocation and enhance negotiations within the organization. This new unilateral commercial quota will only serve to undercut progress and good faith negotiations for long-term solutions in the Commission.”
In 2004, the United States certified Iceland as a country that is undermining the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission. That certification remains active.


Published on: 2008-05-24

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