June 3, 2010
I'm writing to you today because my friends at Humane Society International and I need your help. More importantly, the whales of the world desperately need a hero.
Unless we speak up now, the International Whaling Commission, which has banned commercial whaling for more than 25 years, may surrender to commercial whaling interests: It is poised to give its blessing to commercial whaling, even in the pristine waters of the Antarctic Southern Ocean Sanctuary.
Our government officials have the power to stop this cruelty. That's why I'm asking for your help: Please join me in sending a message to them now to urge them NOT to endorse a deal that effectively lifts the ban but instead to enforce and strengthen it.
Most members of the IWC have long understood that the only way to save whales is to outlaw commercial whaling. That's why they have championed the ban on commercial whaling that has been in place since 1986.
But this month, more than 80 nations will come together to consider a deal to end this international ban -- and if they do, it will give Japan, Iceland and Norway a license to kill whales. And believe it or not, officials in some countries are supporting this ill-conceived deal and thus declaring open season on the oceans' most majestic creatures.
Please tell your nation's leaders this is no time to abandon the whales, who are no longer seen as a commercial commodity, but an integral part of our ecosystem.
Unless you act now, these nations may pass a secret backroom deal that would suspend the moratorium on commercial whaling and make decades of conservation efforts to bring these species back from the brink of extinction meaningless.
Why? Because rogue nations such as Japan, Norway, and Iceland refuse to obey the quarter-century long moratorium.
We cannot allow three nations to decide the fate of the world's whales. In 1982, the nations of the world recognized that whales could not survive if commercial whaling continued. In 2010, when whales face even more threats than ever before -- including toxic pollution, climate change, loss of habitat, ship strikes, and oil and gas exploration -- how could anyone believe it's safe to let whalers off their leash?
On June 21, the International Whaling Commission will meet to decide whether to effectively lift the prohibition on commercial whaling for the next decade. YOU can make all the difference.
Please tell your nation's leaders to keep the ban and enforce it.
Tell them that they must protect whales, not whaling nations. Let them know that you want them to stand up and fight for the lives of these animals. They have the opportunity to be heroes, and the whales need one now.
Actor and whale activist
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