An iconic giant of the ocean has been killed by whalers in waters around Iceland in contravention of international law.
Images taken by Arne Feuerhahn and released by Hard to Port, a conservation NGO based in Germany, show what appears to be a blue whale at the Hvalfjörður in Iceland.
The company responsible for the kill, Hvalur hf, has been hunting fin whales since 18th June under the quota agreed by the Icelandic government.
Blue whales are categorised as Endangered by the IUCN and protected international law including the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
This means that, if confirmed, this latest is in direct contravention to a number of protections afforded to the largest creature to have ever lived.
In a statement, ORCA Head of Science & Conservation, Lucy Babey, said: “Iceland is a modern, forward thinking country, but this single act will challenge that perception in the eyes of the world. What has happened here is almost inconceivable – mistaking a fin whale for a blue whale – but it can never be allowed to happen again.”
“Subjecting them to this indescribable pain and suffering can only be defined as sickening inhumanity; it is quite simply heart-breaking. Iceland has to make amends and the best way it can do that is to ensure its whaling fleet never leaves port again.”
ORCA have been monitoring baleen whales, including blue and fin whales, in European waters for decades and the animals that give so much joy to our volunteers and passengers are the same one’s being butchered in Iceland.
This latest example of this barbaric practice just reinforces that this has no place in the modern world and the international community must mobilise to consign this brutal tradition to the past.