An Endangered Blue Whale Has Been Slaughtered by Icelandic Whalers, Reports Claim

13 July, 2018, 17:38 | Author: Darnell Taylor

Commercial whaling has been banned since 1986 under the a moratorium issued by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), however in Iceland the government regulates the hunting of whales having expressed reservations about its prohibition.

Hard To Port said that the whale could be a blue whale or a rare hybrid of a fin and blue whale and called the killing a mistake in a statement.

"From the photos, it has all the characteristics of a blue whale; given that - notably the coloration pattern - there is nearly no possibility that an experienced observer would have misidentified it as anything else at sea".

"To mistake a blue whale for a fin whale is impossible, this whale has all the characterisations of a fin whale in the ocean".

This would be the first blue whale deliberately killed in 40 years, according to IUCN.

"Whale 22 (documented by us on July 7th midnight / July 8th early morning) shows features of a blue whale (darker belly, all black baleen, bluish colour)", they wrote in a Facebook post.

Since then, the significant weight of expert opinion, including CEO of The Blue Whale Study Dr Peter Gill, have agreed that the animal is most likely a blue whale, with a very small chance it may be a hybrid.

Photos of the massive mammal, which can grow to 33 metres long, were posted online by conservation groups claiming it was slain by Kristján Loftsson's whaling company, the Daily Mail reports.

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An Icelandic whaling company has been accused of slaughtering an endangered blue whale in a "deplorable act", provoking anger and condemnation from the global marine conservationist community.

"I am absolutely confident that it's a hybrid", said Kristján Loftsson who runs Hvalur hf, to Matt McGrath at the BBC.

Sea Shepherd UK's Chief Operating officer Robert Read demanded that DNA samples should be taken from from all the whale meat and parts in storage at Loftsson's whaling station and warehouses.

"Iceland's whaling is rogue and archaic and should command diplomatic criticism at the highest levels".

Humane Society International senior marine scientist Mark Simmonds also believed it was a juvenile blue whale or a rare fin whale-blue whale hybrid.

Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson, who has spent over a half a century defending whales, appealed to Icelandic authorities to stop Loftsson "from ruthlessly violating global conservation law and bringing such disrepute to the nation of Iceland".

"Loftsson ordered his crew to butcher the whale just like it was another Fin whale, ' the anti-whaling group claimed". Before the commercial whaling of the 20th century there were about quarter of a million blue whales.

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