Money Talks: Let's Use it to End Iceland's Rogue Whaling

At this very moment, endangered fin whale meat is en route from Iceland to Japan, clearing up freezer space in anticipation of the upcoming slaughter of endangered fin whales in Iceland.

This isn't the first time.

Since Iceland resumed whaling in 2006, Hvalur hf (an Icelandic whaling company) has shipped more than 7,200 tons of whale meat and blubber to Japan - on 28 separate occasions - despite the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) ban on commercial whaling and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora's (CITES) ban on trade of whale products.

NRDC joins the Animal Welfare Institute, Humane Society International, Greenpeace and other animal welfare and conservation groups calling on the Obama Administration to impose targeted economic sanctions against Icelandic companies profiting from this rogue commercial whaling and trade in whale products.

This isn't the first time.

In December 2010, NRDC and eighteen other NGOs filed a petition under the Pelly Amendment to the Fisherman's Protective Act urging the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior to certify and enact targeted sanctions against Iceland.

Led by renowned actor and marine mammal activist Pierce Brosnan, we urged President Obama back then to impose tough sanctions against Iceland.

In July 2011, the Department of Commerce certified Iceland for its continued slaughter of whales, finding that "Iceland, by permitting its nationals to engage in commercial whaling and exporting endangered fin whale meat, is diminishing the effectiveness of the IWC conservation program."

President Obama enacted diplomatic sanctions against Iceland in September 2011.

In February 2014, the Department of Interior certified that Iceland's international trade in whale meat and products diminishes the effectiveness of the CITES, noting that "Iceland's whaling activities undermine [] worldwide efforts to conserve whales."

President Obama enacted another series of diplomatic sanctions against Iceland in April 2014.

But the diplomatic squeeze hasn't been enough to stop Iceland.

With this latest shipment of whale products - and the start of Iceland's whaling season on the imminent horizon - it's crystal clear that diplomacy has failed.

It's time for a new approach. It's time the time for the President to respond with hard-hitting economic sanctions targeting Iceland's whaling companies - and companies with corporate ties to those whaling companies making money in the United States.

We have identified several Icelandic companies as potential targets for trade sanctions, including major seafood industry players doing business in the United States that are directly tied to Iceland's whaling industry.

We urge the Obama administration to impose targeted sanctions against those companies. Money talks, and it's time for the U.S. to put its money where its mouth is and flex its economic muscle to save whales.

For more information, visit the "Don't Buy from Icelandic Whalers" campaign website. And click here to send your message to the President.