Thursday, 9 August 2018

Whale killing: Iceland accused of slaughtering rare whale

By Matt McGrathEnvironment correspondent
12 July 2018

Whalers in Iceland have killed what appears to be a blue whale, one of the largest creatures left on the planet.

Photographic evidence from campaigners opposed to whaling show a large animal being butchered for export.

Several experts have concluded from these pictures that it's a juvenile male blue, a species that hasn't been deliberately killed since 1978.

The whaling company involved say they are confident that the animal is a hybrid between a blue and fin whale.

DNA testing will be needed to confirm the whale's true identity.

The key reason for interest in the species is to determine whether this killing is legal or not under Icelandic law.

Weighing as much as 200 tonnes and stretching up to 30 metres, blue whales were hunted to the brink by commercial whalers from many countries including the UK from the 1940s to the 1960s when they became a protected stock under the International Whaling Commission. That means that all countries, including Iceland agreed not to kill the creatures.

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