Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

USA professor of biology believes hunted whale to be a blue whale

Credit Sea Shepherd Images credit Sea Shepherd
Steven Clarke | 13 July, 2018, 06:25

Although the first 21 whales killed were Fin whales - which the Icelandic government has permitted Loftsson's company to slaughter despite an global moratorium on whaling and the endangered status of the Fin whale - they do not have any legal authority to kill endangered Blue whales, even within Iceland, alleges Sea Shepherd. Although an worldwide moratorium has placed catch limits at zero for blue whales, Iceland, Norway and the Russian Federation all objected to that provision.

Genetic sampling has been conducted to establish the species of the whale, with experts unable to rule out the possibility it could be a rare blue/fin whale hybrid.

The whaling company accused of killing the blue whale, Kvalur hf, has denied any wrongdoing.

A massive whale, believed to be a blue whale, slaughtered in Iceland.

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.

"It is like a fin whale, it behaves like a fin whale, but after you shoot it you notice [the characteristics] are different to a fin whale".

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

"Photographs point to the fact that it's a hybrid whale and we're nearly certain that it is one, but we can't be sure until autumn, when we get it DNA tested", he said.

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Icelandic fishing magnate Kristjan Loftsson views the whale, believed to be a blue whale.

Sea Shepherd UK chief operating officer Robert Read demanded DNA samples be taken from the Hvalur 8's equipment, meat stocks, and storage to prove it illegally killed a blue whale.

Dr. Phillip Clapham of the Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle studied images of the whale caught by Hvalur.

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

"The killing of such a majestic creature, blue whale or hybrid, represents a significant crime against nature, given the rarity of these species and the threats to their survival today". Picture: Facebook/Hard to PortThe whale has been positively identified by experts as a blue whale, according to Sea Shepherd.

"Iceland's whaling is rogue and archaic and should command diplomatic criticism at the highest levels". One has not been slaughtered for more than 50 years.

Nicole Beynon of Humane Society International Australia said: "Killing a blue whale is unforgivable". Before the commercial whaling of the 20th century there were about quarter of a million blue whales.

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