US President Barack Obama is urging Iceland to abide by the 1986 International Whaling Commission’s moratorium.

“The nationals of Iceland are conducting trade in whale meat and products that diminishes the effectiveness of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).”

The Department of State is set to re-examine bilateral cooperation projects between the countries and President Obama stated that future US cooperation with Iceland is based on ‘the Icelandic government changing its whaling policy.’

Iceland, who like Norway believes the whale population is not endangered, has set a quota of 216 minke whales and 154 fin whales for this year’s hunting season.

“Iceland’s actions jeopardize the survival of the fin whale, which is listed in CITES among the species most threatened with extinction, and they undermine multilateral efforts to ensure greater worldwide protection for whales.”

“The Departments of State, Commerce, and the Interior will continue to monitor and encourage Iceland to revise its policies regarding commercial whaling. Further, within 6 months, I have directed relevant departments and agencies to report to me through the Departments of State, Commerce, and the Interior on their actions. I believe that continuing focus on Icelandic whaling activities is needed to encourage Iceland to halt commercial whaling and support international conservation efforts.”

“Just as the United States made the transition from a commercial whaling nation to a whale watching nation, we must enhance our engagement to facilitate this change by Iceland.”

Click here to read the complete message from Obama to the US Congress.

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