The 800 tonnes (880 tons) of whale products that Iceland exported to Japan, Norway and the Faroe Islands this year have been valued at $11,000,000. The WDCS charges that Iceland "made illegal shipments of whale products to Latvia and Belarus."
There is, of course, a long-standing history of whaling in Iceland, but the more recent issues date back to 2004. That's when the U.S certified Iceland under the Pelly Amendment. Iceland was allowed to conduct so-called "research whaling."
President Bush at the time declined to impose trade sanctions. Given Iceland's recent whaling activity, the Obama administration is now "evaluating potential responses."
"We applaud the U.S. for recognizing that more must be done to stop this senseless killing," said D.J. Schubert, wildlife biologist for the Animal Welfare Institute, who was quoted in a WDCS press release. "This petition provides the government with the evidence it needs to act urgently and decisively to impose significantly stronger measures against Iceland and its whaling industry."
Taryn Kiekow, staff attorney for the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council, was also quoted in the same release.
"Now is the time for the U.S. to take robust measures against Iceland for its continued defiance of international law," said Kiekow. "Iceland's commercial whaling policy is considered archaic and cruel by the rest of the world and we ask the U.S. to impose trade sanctions against it."