In honor of my unofficial declaration that August is horse month (yes! I will still write about marine mammals), here are some timely videos from Stephen Colbert (who has declared dressage the official sport of the year): (The complete schedule of equestrian events for the 2012 Olympics can be found here.)
I direct the Secretaries of State and Commerce to continue to keep the situation under review and to continue to urge Iceland to cease its commercial whaling activities. It is my expectation that departments and agencies make substantive progress towards their implementation. To this end, within 6 months, or immediately upon the resumption of fin whaling by Icelandic nationals, I direct departments and agencies to report to me on their actions through the Departments of State and Commerce. I believe that these actions hold the most promise of effecting a reduction in Iceland’s commercial whaling activities, and support our broader conservation efforts. BARACK OBAMA Iceland thumbs its collective nose at the rules, agreements, and standards of conduct that most of the rest of the world believes is necessary to ensure the survival of whales and dolphins. They slaughter endangered fin whales and send the meat to Japan. They slaughter the little Minke whales, and in what is just twisted and grotesque, serve the meat to unsuspecting tourists in their ‘look and cook‘ program– in which they combine whale watching trips followed by samples of “traditional” Icelandic food – “However, prior to 1914 Icelanders did not hunt Minke whales. Superstition held that Minke whales were sent by God as protectors.” (Wikipedia)
Icelandic whaling takes this…
and puts it here:
It exchanges this experience…
for this one:
“In the long and bloody history of commercial whale hunting, Iceland is one of the most notorious and persistent protagonists, killing more than 35,000 whales since the late 19th century and opposing or circumventing efforts by the international community to regulate whaling and prevent the decimation of whale populations.” (EIA Iceland Whaling Report)
REQUIRED ACTIONS BY THE US AND EUROPEAN UNION (EU) By taking strong action against Iceland, not only will the Obama Administration live up to its promises to strengthen the commercial whaling moratorium, but it will also help to ensure a real future for the IWC.
In 2009, following the collapse of its economy, Iceland applied to join the EU. Iceland’s EU accession negotiations provide a unique opportunity to end Iceland’s whaling and trade in whale products for good.
Although EU Directive 92/43/EEC (the Habitats Directive) prohibits “all forms of deliberate capture or killing” of whales, as well as sales of whale products in the EU, it provides an opportunity for member states to ‘derogate’, under defined conditions, from the Directive’s prohibitions. It is therefore crucial that EU Member States take a zero-tolerance position to Iceland’s whaling and trade in the negotiation of its accession, to ensure that Iceland does not take a derogation. WDCS and EIA commend the Dutch and German Parliaments for passing Resolutions in 2010 stating that Icelandic whaling would be unacceptable under EU law, and urge all other EU countries that are members of the IWC to take similar action.