Target: Kristján Loftsson, CEO of Hvalur, Iceland’s only whaling company
Goal: Demand Kristján Loftsson cease the illegal hunting of fin whales
Commercial whaling has been illegal since the 1982 global moratorium, sponsored by the International Whaling Commission. However, Kristján Loftsson and his whaling company Hvalur have consistently flaunted international regulation and continued to target endangered fin whales for the sale of their meat, blubber, and oil. The second largest animal in the world, fin whales are renowned for their sleek shape and great size. For the past two years Hvalur has refrained from whaling, but in early May the company announced its decision to return to the hunt, hoping to profit from the growing whale meat market in Japan. Hvalur must be stopped to protect this important endangered species.
This is not Hvalur’s first transgression. The company’s previous illegal whaling history can be traced back to 1986, when it illegally hunted undersized fin and sei whales for “research purposes.” Research whaling under a quota is permissible as long as whale byproducts remain within the country, but up to 77% of the whale meat hunted by Hvalur for “research” was exported to Japan for consumption. Worse, Loftsson has kept mum about the profits gained from whaling, leading many to question whether there is any economic profit in whaling or if Loftsson is merely pursuing a needless and extremely cruel hobby. Beginning in June, Hvalur plans to kill at least 154 fin whales.
Fortunately, the tide seems to be turning against Hvalur, even within Iceland. When Hvalur announced its plans to resume whaling in early May, several tourism and animal welfare organizations as well as one newspaper condemned Hvalur’s undertakings. The international community has threatened economic sanctions if illegal whaling continues, and many Icelanders resent Loftsson’s blatant disregard of whaling regulation that threatens Iceland’s international interests as well as the gentle giants he hunts. By signing this position, you will demand that Loftsson renounce his decision to needlessly and illegally prey upon fin whales and hurt Iceland’s international image.
Dear Mr. Loftsson,
I demand that you abandon your continued efforts to illegally hunt fin whales, efforts that are incontrovertibly against the 1982 International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling. Your company has consistently flaunted international regulation and continued hunting and selling the byproducts of these endangered animals despite previous sanctions against your company and your country.
Whaling is not only illegal, but entirely unnecessary. In today’s increasingly globalized world, Iceland and Japan are no longer dependent on whales for food or fuel. Your actions are thoroughly unwarranted and unjustified. I demand that you renounce your abominable hobby and reverse your decision to hunt fin whales — creatures that are as endangered as they are magnificent. Your own nation seeks to distance itself from your despicable actions to destroy internationally protected whales, for fear of global sanctions because of your selfish and illegal enterprises. Abandon your plans to continue whaling immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons