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U.S. Department of State

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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

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Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
January 18, 2001

U.S. Opposes Exports of Whale Products from Norway

The United States deeply regrets and strongly opposes the government of Norway's announcement on January 16 of its intention to begin to allow the export of minke whale products. This action would end the hiatus in the international trade in whale products that has existed since 1986 through the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), and supported by the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

The new Norwegian program will permit exports of minke whale products to certain countries that are Parties to CITES. The United States has consistently opposed the international trade of whale products without CITES and IWC approval.

Absent international agreement to resume commercial whaling and permit international trade in whale products, Norway's unilateral action to allow international trade in minke whales is contrary to both the IWC and CITES. Furthermore, Norway's action is counter-productive to efforts in the IWC to make progress in developing an effective and transparent Revised Management Scheme for commercial whaling.

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