Report claims toxins in whales threatens seafood

A move by an Icelandic company to resume whale hunting after a two-year hiatus has angered conservation groups that are now calling on the United States to impose sanctions against the country.

The groups, which include Greenpeace, Humane Society International, the Animal Welfare Institute and the World Wildlife Fund, issued a joint statement today asking the Obama Administration to take action.

"Endangered whales do not belong on a chopping block or dinner table," said Taryn Kiekow, staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, another group that signed the statement. "The United States can play a pivotal role in ending the slaughter of whales by imposing economic sanctions that send a clear message — whaling is no longer tolerated."

Hvalur hf, an Iceland-based whaling company, has announced it will resume hunting this summer of 184 species the groups cited as endangered.

Iceland is one of three nations that permit whale hunting worldwide. The groups, in the joint statement, cited President Obama’s 15 September 2011 adoption of a declaration that Iceland’s whale hunting threatened endangered species.

"President Obama has said that the U.S. opposes resumed commercial whaling by Iceland" Susan Millward, executive director of the Animal Welfare Institute, said in the statement. "It is now time to act.”

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