Whaling company accused of killing rare blue whale

Blue whale

Since then, countries like Norway, Iceland, and Japan have ignored global laws and have brazenly hunted whales, including endangered species like Fin whales and the Blue whale caught by Icelandic whalers just recently.

If these fears are confirmed, it would be the first official blue whale to be harpooned in half a century.

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

Experts believe the whale could be a blue whale-fin whale hybrid. "To mistake a blue whale for a fin whale is impossible, this whale has all the characterizations of a fin whale in the ocean".

There are about 25,000 of them and 100,000 fin whales.

"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".

The whale has been positively identified by experts as a blue whale, according to Sea Shepherd.

Iceland resumed commercial whaling in 2006.

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Police officers took photographs of each other at the massive cave entrance, as pumps continued to suck out huge volumes of water. He added that everyone worked together without concerns about race or religion, as the goal was to save the young football team.

Loftsson's whaling station crew posed for photos next to and on top of the whale.

"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", said Dr. Phillip Clapham, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Centre.

"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".

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. HSI noted the features of a blue whale are a darker belly, all black baleen and bluish colour.

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".

"Iceland's whaling is rogue and archaic and should command diplomatic criticism at the highest levels". "I know a blue whale when I see one and this whale slaughtered by Kristjan Loftsson is a blue whale". "We have never caught a blue whale in our waters since they were protected", he told CNN.

It's a species that the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says hasn't been deliberately killed since 1978.

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