Iceland violated international Conservation law as of Saturday, August 16, with the departure of the whaling vessels Halldor Sigurdsson from Isajordur Harbour of Northwest Iceland, the departure of the Njordur from Kopavogur Harbour south of Reykjavik, and the departure of the Sigurborg from Reykjavik Harbour.
Iceland's guise of so called "scientific whaling" is fooling no one. This is a commercial enterprise and a testing of the waters to see if there can be a return to full scale commercial whaling by Iceland.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is officially requesting that the United States Department of Commerce invoke economic sanctions against Iceland as mandated by the regulations of the U.S. Department of Commerce that stipulate that sanctions be used against nations violating the regulations of the International Whaling Commission.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will not be able to intervene against this whale slaughter this summer because of the time it would take to move our flagship, Farley Mowat, from the Northern Pacific to the Northern Atlantic.
The Farley Mowat will be in Icelandic waters in the summer of 2004 to directly intervene against any escalation in illegal whaling activities by Iceland.
Iceland is very much aware of Sea Shepherd's commitment to oppose whaling. In November 1986, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society shut down illegal Icelandic whaling operations by sinking half of the Icelandic whaling fleet and destroying the whale processing plant at Hvalfjordhur. There were no charges against Sea Shepherd crew for that action because Iceland was aware of the illegal actions of the whalers and did not wish to draw attention to illegal whaling by arresting and charging Sea Shepherd for simply upholding international conservation law.
Captain Paul Watson is ready for an encounter with Iceland. He states: "A line must be drawn in the sand and a stand must be taken for the whales. If Iceland tries to kill whales next summer, they will have to sink us to do so. The Farley Mowat will be in the North Atlantic and ready to protect and defend the whales in the summer of 2004".