the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Memorandum Regarding Pelly Certification and Icelandic Whaling

                                       THE SECRETARY OF STATE
                                       THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY
                                       THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
                                       THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
                                       THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR
                                       THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
                                       THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE
                                       THE SECRETARY OF LABOR
                                       THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
                                       THE SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
                                       THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION
                                       THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY
                                       THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
                                       THE SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
                                       THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
                                       ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OF STAFF
                                       DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
                                       UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE
                                       CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS

SUBJECT: Pelly Certification and Icelandic Whaling

On July 19, 2011, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke certified under section 8 of the Fisherman's Protective Act of 1967, as amended (the "Pelly Amendment") (22 U.S.C. 1978), that nationals of Iceland are conducting whaling activities that diminish the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) conservation program. In his letter of July 19, 2011, Secretary Locke expressed his concern for these actions, and I share these concerns.

To ensure that this issue continues to receive the highest level of attention, and in accordance with Secretary Locke's recommendations, I direct: (1) relevant U.S. delegations attending meetings with Icelandic officials and senior Administration officials visiting Iceland to raise U.S. concerns regarding commercial whaling by Icelandic companies and seek ways to halt such action; (2) Cabinet secretaries to evaluate the appropriateness of visits to Iceland depending on continuation of the current suspension of fin whaling; (3) the Department of State to examine Arctic cooperation projects, and where appropriate, link U.S. cooperation to the Icelandic government changing its whaling policy and abiding by the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling; (4) the Departments of Commerce and State to consult with other international actors on efforts to end Icelandic commercial whaling and have Iceland abide by the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling; (5) the Department of State to inform the Government of Iceland that the United States will continue to monitor the activities of Icelandic companies that engage in commercial whaling; and (6) relevant U.S. agencies to continue to examine other options for responding to continued whaling by Iceland.

I direct the Secretaries of State and Commerce to continue to keep the situation under review and to continue to urge Iceland to cease its commercial whaling activities. It is my expectation that departments and agencies make substantive progress towards their implementation. To this end, within 6 months, or immediately upon the resumption of fin whaling by Icelandic nationals, I direct departments and agencies to report to me on their actions through the Departments of State and Commerce.

I believe that these actions hold the most promise of effecting a reduction in Iceland's commercial whaling activities, and support our broader conservation efforts.