The undersigned conservation and animal welfare organisations write to
express outrage at Iceland's resumption of whaling.

Iceland was the first nation to begin a so-called 'scientific' whaling
programme in 1986 in defiance of the moratorium on commercial whaling
introduced by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that year.
Japan followed suit and began its ongoing 'scientific' whaling program the
next year. Following sustained international pressure, Iceland stopped
whaling in 1989 and left the IWC in 1992 in protest at the continuing moratorium.
Iceland re-joined the IWC in October 2002, stating that it would not
conduct commercial whaling before 2006. Just eight months later, in June 2003,
Iceland submitted a proposal to the 55th annual meeting of the IWC to
commence 'scientific' whaling.

Many members of the IWC's Scientific Committee viewed Iceland's proposal
to hunt 500 minke, sei and fin whales as technically and scientifically
deficient. They concluded that, "information relevant to management of
these stocks of whales can be obtained with considerably more efficiency by
well-established, non-lethal methods."

The IWC has repeatedly passed resolutions condemning 'scientific'
whaling and calling for the use of non-lethal methods of research. At this
year's annual meeting, the IWC adopted a strongly worded resolution that calls
on Iceland to abandon its lethal scientific whaling proposal, and states
clearly that the provision in the treaty which allows whaling for scientific
research ".is not intended to be exploited in order to provide whale meat
for commercial purposes and shall not be so used". It states further that
".scientific whaling operations represent an act contrary to the spirit of
the moratorium on commercial whaling and to the will of the Commission".

Iceland announced in August 2003 that it would kill 38 minke whales this
August and September. The primary stated purpose of the hunt is to
examine the contents of the whales' stomachs. We anticipate that the data
collected will be used to support the spurious argument that whales are destroying
fish stocks needed by humans, when clearly commercial over-fishing is
the cause of global declines in fisheries.

We, the undersigned organisations, believe that Iceland's plan to resume
'scientific' whaling is a cynical ploy to circumvent the IWC's moratorium on
commercial whaling that will seriously undermine conservation efforts.
Even if the meat from these first 38 whales is not exported, we believe that,
as it has done in the past, Iceland will seek overseas markets for future
exports as the programme continues.

The success of Iceland's growing whale watching industry shows that
whales are worth more alive than dead.

We call on Iceland to abandon its whaling programme immediately.

The above statement is supported by the following organisations:

Campaign Whale



Environmental Investigation Agency

IFAW - International Fund for Animal Welfare


Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

World Society for the Protection of Animals

Ocean Defense International

Campaign Whale is dedicated to protecting whales, dolphins, porpoises
and the environment and is a founder of the Global Whale Alliance, fighting
commercial whaling.

Tami Drake
Ocean Defense International

Sandra Abels
Ocean Defense International
OR Office 541-846-0218
WA Office 206-361-0736