Saturday, June 12, 2010

Obama Supports Legalizing Commercial Whaling

If seeing all those animals in the Gulf of Mexico covered in oil and struggling to survive isn't enough to make you cry, now President Obama is backing an effort to reinstate whale hunting.

For 24 years, the 88-member International Whaling Commission (IWC) has banned commercial whaling. Some estimate between 37,000 to 58,000 whales have been saved since the ban was put in place in 1986. Three countries - Japan, Norway and Iceland - continue to hunt whales in defiance of the ban. Rather than penalize and sanction these rogue countries, President Obama and the IWC have proposed rewarding their audacious behavior by lifting the ban for them. Not only does this risk putting the entire ban in jeopardy, but it will surely mean thousands of more gruesome deaths.

On June 20, the International Whaling Commission will meet in Morocco to vote on a proposal - backed by the Obama Administration - to lift the international ban on commercial whaling for Japan, Norway and Iceland. This plan aims to close loopholes while allowing the three countries to continue hunting whales for a 10-year period.

Simply appeasing these three countries by giving them the green light to legally hunt whales is not going to help save whales. Moreover, it is a slap in the face to the other 85 countries who adhere to the ban.

Please tell President Obama to oppose this plan and instead, propose one that closes loopholes, focuses on the recovery of endangered whales and bans commercial whaling forever.

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