Icelandic whalers ‘slaughters blue whale’, courting global anger

Pictures of a blue whale, which the whalers killed-by poachers, was published, animal rights activists.

Iceland Marine Institute's Gisli Arnor Vikingsson has told local media however he thinks the whale may have been a blue-whale-fin whale hybrid - a point conceded by Hard to Port.

The Icelandic government has licensed the commercial fishing company, Hvalur, and its owner, Kristján Loftsson, to kill fin whales. "Hard To Port's observation and documentation work has revealed that the 22nd whale landed at Iceland's whaling station was not a fin whale", the organization wrote on Instagram. "Given that, notably the colouration pattern, there is nearly no possibility that an experienced observer would have misidentified it as anything else at sea".

It claimed the animal showed all the features of a blue whale, including a "darker belly" and "bluish color".

"This is a deplorable act - the blue whale, the largest animal ever to grace our planet - is endangered and protected under all relevant global agreements", he said.

According to several scientific experts specializing in whale identification contacted by Sea Shepherd, the whale was without question a Blue whale.

"Killing a blue whale is unforgivable".

"This should be a final wake-up call to Iceland that commercial whaling does not belong in the 21st century".

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.

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Iceland is testing the whale's DNA to determine its species.

The government of Iceland confirmed that "blue whales are protected under Icelandic law with their capture prohibited".

Sea Shepherd UK's Chief Operating officer Robert Read stated, "The crime committed against this iconic whale must be fully investigated by independent inspectors with DNA samples taken from all the whale meat and parts in storage at Loftsson's whaling station and warehouses since the whale has been butchered and removed from view potentially to hide the evidence as Loftsson has no authority (even within Iceland) to kill a Blue whale".

The WDC report stated that the whale was first spotted as it was positioned on a ramp by Arne Feuerhahn, a German conservationist, who noted that the massive mammal "was strikingly different in appearance to a fin whale".

She also said, "Now is the best time to see blues around Iceland, so I imagine that despite still being rare, their numbers around Iceland are at their highest during these months".

Gísli Arnór Víkingsson at the Iceland Marine Institute, said: "We heard about this odd whale straight away and an employee reports that it's in many ways similar to a hybrid which has been brought to us quite a lot recently which is unusual".

Heart-breaking photos have emerged appearing to show that hunters in Iceland killing a rare blue whale, which are protected after they almost became extinct due to commercial whaling.

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

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