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Stop Whaling United States

posted: 08/13/12
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Whaling United States

Animal Planet recognizes that some fans of the Whale Wars series will be interested in finding out more about whaling and, if they support an end to this practice, how they can help make a difference. As a service to these viewers, we offer the following resources and ways to take action on behalf of whales.

The United States of America can impose sanctions on any country that violates international fisheries and conservation programs, including those that protect whales.

The Pelly Amendment

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) passed a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, but lacked the power to enforce its own decision. In response, the United States enacted the Pelly Amendment to the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967, which restricts the "importation of fishery or wildlife products from countries which violate international fishery or endangered or threatened species programs."

This amendment allows the President of the United States to "direct the Secretary of the Treasury to prohibit the bringing or the importation into the United States of any products from the offending country for any duration as the President determines appropriate."

The Packwood Amendment

Shortly after the Pelly Amendment, Congress enacted the Packwood Amendment to the Magnuson Fishery Conservation and Management Act. This amendment demands that economic sanctions be imposed against any foreign country that conducts fishing operations in such a manner as to "diminish the effectiveness" of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). This includes decisions made by the IWC.

The Effectiveness of These Amendments

After these amendments were passed in the mid-1980's, the Reagan Administration asked Japan to comply with the IWC moratorium on whaling or face trade sanctions and loss of fishing rights in U.S. waters. This prompted Japan to finally withdraw its objection to the moratorium, allowing the decision to go into effect in 1986. Similarly, Norway was convinced to end its commercial whaling program in 1991 after the United States threatened to use the Pelly Amendment.

How to Act

If you'd like the United States to use its sanctioning powers against countries that continue to practice whaling, here's how:

Tell the president, your senator and your representative that you want the United States to use its sanctioning powers under the Pelly and Packwood amendments to convince Japan, Norway and Iceland to stop whaling.

Write, Call or E-mail the President:

Write, Call or E-mail Your Senator:

Write, Call or E-mail Your Representative:

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