Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today applauded the President's report to Congress outlining concrete steps that U.S. agencies will take in their diplomatic engagement with Iceland in response to Iceland's continued commercial harvest and export of endangered fin whale meat.
On July 19, 2011, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke certified to the President that Iceland's commercial harvest of fin whales and its active export of whale products undermine international fishery conservation. Under the Pelly Amendment to the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967, the President is required to report to Congress within 60 days of certification detailing what actions the United States would implement based on Secretary Locke's recommendations.
"This is vital to strengthening international mechanisms for whale protection," Senator Kerry said. "The report outlines concrete steps that reaffirm our opposition to commercial whaling and the export of fin whale products. The United States is responding appropriately to actions that undermine international conservation agreements."
Senator Kerry is a long-time champion of environmental conservation. Last year he introduced legislation aimed at protecting whales, the International Whale Conservation and Protection Act of 2010 that addresses major threats to whales including commercial whaling, ship strikes, habitat destruction, and climate change.