U.S. officials say whaling trade violates international conservation treaty
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Iceland may face trade sanctions after U.S. officials formally declared that the island nation’s whaling is undermining an international ban on commercial trade in whale products.
The declaration by U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell may have been spurred in part by Iceland’s December announcement that commercial whaling will continue for the next five years. As many as 154 endangered fin whales and 229 minke whales could be killed each year under Iceland’s self-allocated quotas which are set to run from 2014 to 2018.
Iceland killed 35 minke whales and 134 fin whales, massive animals second only to blue whales in size, during the 2013 whaling season. Whaling has deep cultural and economic roots in Iceland, and the fishing industry is by far the largest sector of the country’s economy, but wildlife and animal rights advocacy groups say it’s time for Iceland to rethink its whaling activities. Continue reading “Oceans: Iceland faces sanctions over whaling”→
Whaling banned in coastal waters, where endangered humpbacks breed
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Costa Rica has declared its coastal waters as a sanctuary for marine mammals, according to the Eco Preservation Society. The executive order issued by President Oscar Arias bans all hunting, catching, hurting, or in any other way harassing or trading cetaceans in all territorial waters, including those in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
Costa Rican waters serve as migration routes for whales, and marine scientists have confirmed that whales use some of the countries harbors and sheltered coastal waters to mate and give birth, including endangered humpbacks.
Costa Rica was also ratified as the headquarters for the West Pacific Conservation Marine Corridor, which takes in the area of the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Cocos Island (Costa Rica), Coiba Island (Panama) and the Colombian islands Malpelo and Gorgona. Costa Rican Ricardo Meneses was confirmed at the top executive of the organization during the 16th Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Environment Ministers, held in the Dominican Republic.