A few months ago, we reported on the killing and butchering of a potential hybrid blue whale/fine whale in Iceland. Now, new photos have revealed the Icelandic whalers have committed the same atrocity.
Footage captured by Sea Shepherd on August 24 shows whalers dragging an unusual whale, known as “whale 98,” into a whale station in Hvalfjörður, a fjord located about half an hour from the capital Reykjavík.
The whale in the photos is believed to be a cross between a blue whale and a fin whale, although this has not officially been confirmed.
Before stripping the whale of its blubber and meat, crew members were seen posing for photographs with the corpse. It’s believed the meat will be exported to Japan where it is sold as food.
Hvalur hf, the company responsible for the slaughter of hundreds of whales this summer in Icelandic waters, is owned by multi-millionaire businessman, Kristján Loftsson. As of this week, the company has killed two rare blue whale hybrids and 109 endangered fin whales. 14 of the endangered fin whales were pregnant upon capture.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) issued a global moratorium to ban commercial whaling since 1986. This agreement was kick-started as a result of the catastrophic levels of whaling that took part in recent centuries. By some estimates, blue whales have been depleted by up to 90 percent of their pre-whaling population.
Fin whales are currently still hunted in Iceland, Japan and Norway ignoring the ICW ban. Despite international outrage and the almost zero demand for whale meat, the slaughter of the mammal continues despite species numbers drastically falling.
The exact species of whale 98 is not known officially yet. Sea Shepherd has argued that it appears to be a blue whale, however, the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute of Iceland carried out a DNA analysis and determined that it was a hybrid, most likely of a blue whale and a fin whale. This, however, is a preliminary analysis that still needs to be confirmed.
Either way, the acts currently taking place in Iceland are atrocious and the best way to put an end killings is by bringing attention on the nation.