Poll: Americans support whale conservation; new blueprint lays out government action plan

Poll: Americans Support Whale Conservation; New Blueprint Lays Out Government Ac
Tuesday, 24 April, 2012

A new nationwide survey shows that 77 percent of Americans across the political spectrum agree that Congress and the Administration should adopt a broad whale conservation program, and 89 percent believe that the U.S. should help enforce the global ban on commercial whaling. To help inform how to better protect the planet’s whales, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW; www.ifaw.org) today released Blueprint for U.S. Whale Conservation.

Developed over many months by IFAW and informed by broad consultations across the conservation community, this new blueprint action plan highlights the most urgent threats facing whales including commercial whaling, entanglement and entrapment, ship strikes and shipping noise, navy sonar, oil, gas and industrial development, pollution and cumulative threats; identifies current solutions; and recommends simple, effective next steps the U.S. government should take to secure a better future for whales in waters around the world.

“Thirty years after the International Whaling Commission (IWC) declared a worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling, our planet’s great whales are far from saved,” said Patrick Ramage, Global Whale Program Director, IFAW. “The United States has consistently been among the leaders in the efforts to protect whales and from sea to shining sea the American people want their political leaders to act to protect this legacy.”

Among voters of both parties, 78 percent support having high-level U.S. government officials speak out publicly against commercial whaling by Japan, Norway, and Iceland. Sixty-two percent of respondents even stated that they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who took a firm stand against commercial whaling.

“Rarely do we see an issue that achieves as intense a level of support, across voters of all parties and ideologies, as we see when it comes to protecting the whales,” said Joel Benenson, President, Benenson Strategy Group who conducted the poll. “Voters of all parties are demonstrating a strong desire for action from Washington on this issue.”

“From the vital role whales fulfill in the marine ecosystems to the strong economic impact of the $2 billion whale watching industry, whales have become the totems of the environmental movement and increasingly widely appreciated worldwide as living beings, with their own intrinsic value,” added Ramage. “Now is the time for our leaders to seriously consider how we are going to protect these majestic creatures. We place these recommendations in their hands—just like the fate of these species.”

To download a full copy of the Blueprint for U.S. Whale Conservation, please visit www.ifaw.org/whaleblueprint.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime