United States professor of biology believes hunted whale to be a blue whale

Lester Mason
July 13, 2018

Iceland, along with every other country, agreed to honour the International Whaling Commission's decision in the 1960s.

The Hvalur hf company has been accused by anti-whaling activist organisation Sea Shepherd of making the kill on July 7, documented in photos by another activist organisation Hard To Port.

"It's bad enough that Iceland is already killing endangered fin whales, but it beggars belief that this whaling crew couldn't even tell the difference between a fin and blue whale".

The animal rights campaigners Hard To Port published photos of the whale landing in Hvalfjörður.

Kristján Loftsson, the multi-millionaire CEO of Hvalur hf whaling company, told the Telegraph he was "pretty confident" tests would confirm the animal was a hybrid species and not a blue whale.

If confirmed, this will cause serious problems for the whalers in question, as it's illegal to deliberately kill blue whales in Iceland, and it highlights a troubling whaling practice.

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.

Experts believe the whale could be a blue whale-fin whale hybrid.

Dr Phillip Clapham, from the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Centre, said: 'While I can't entirely rule out the possibility that this is a hybrid, I don't see any characteristics that would suggest that.

The Hvalur 8 bringing in slaughtered whales.

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.

"This awful incident comes as Japan is rumoured to be planning an attempt to overturn the global moratorium on commercial whaling, and clearly speaks to how utterly inappropriate it is for countries to even contemplate allowing a large-scale return to this grossly inhumane and haphazard industry".

Sea Shepherd, another conservation group, claimed Wednesday that the dead whale was a blue whale as evidenced by experts they've spoken to and experience with the world's largest animal.

Nicole Beynon of Humane Society International Australia said: "Killing a blue whale is unforgivable".

Sea Shepherd has had crew on the ground since the slaughter of whales began on June 20. Prior to the catastrophic commercial whaling of the 20 century it is estimated that there were in the region of a quarter of a million blue whales, but their populations crashed in the 1950s and 60s.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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