Hellooo, Iceland! Please Stop Killing and Trading in Endangered Whales

Iceland’s President is in Portland, Maine today giving the keynote address at Maine’s International Trade Day. I’d love to talk about trade with President Grimsson.  I’d love to ask why Iceland is tarnishing its image as a progressive nation by flouting international law to kill hundreds of whales and export thousands of tons of whale meat to Japan.

Iceland is about to resume killing endangered fin whales after a two year hiatus – and continues to kill minke whales – in spite of the global ban on commercial whaling.  Worse, it then trades the whale meat and products with Japanese manufacturers who, according to recent reports, turn that endangered whale meat into luxury dog treats.

That’s why NRDC, the Animal Welfare Institute, and other animal protection and conservation groups ran this ad in the Portland Daily Sun: 


And that’s why groups are rallying – with giant inflatable whales – across the street from the Maine shipping facility that imports Icelandic fish from HB Grandi.  Their message is simple: DON’T TRADE WITH WHALERS!

HB Grandi is Iceland’s largest fishing company and ships fish directly into Portland. Its chairman, Kristjan Loftsson, also happens to control Iceland’s fin whaling industry.

NRDC and others have urged the U.S. to impose targeted sanctions against HB Grandi and other Icelandic companies with direct ties to the whaling industry. 

The ad implores Iceland to focus on watching whales, not killing them.  Until Iceland ends commercial whaling and stops trading in whale products, the U.S. should not trade with whalers

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