The Icelandic government has officially informed the United States government that it intends to slaughter whales this summer, in blatant violation of international conservation law.
Helgi Agustsson, the Icelandic ambassador to the United States, has announced that Icelandic whaling ships will kill 38 Minke whales this summer.
"This is a blatantly illegal slaughter, a violation of the regulations of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and it is a violation of the laws of the United States," said Captain Paul Watson, the President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
"Only a month ago, the IWC turned down the Icelandic request to kill whales," continued Watson. "Iceland is now showing the world that it will defy international law, and they are giving themselves unilateral authority to do whatever they desire with the resources of the ocean."
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is registering a protest with the United States Department of Commerce and is officially requesting the Department of Commerce to evoke sanctions against Iceland for violating international conservation law, as described under the Packwood-Magnuson and Pelly Amendments, that stipulate economic penalties to nations that kill whales in defiance of the regulations of the IWC.
Illegal whaling by Iceland was ended in 1986 after the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society enforced IWC regulations against pirate whaling operations in Iceland. Half the Icelandic whaling fleet was sunk and the whale processing plant was destroyed.
Iceland refused to lay charges against Sea Shepherd activists because they did not wish to publicize their own illegal activities.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be watching illegal whaling activities in Iceland very closely and is preparing a legal file against these outlaw operations.