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Commercial whalers ‘kill first blue whale in over 50 years’

Whalers are accused of illegally killing the first blue whale in over 50 years.

Photos show the huge animal lying dead on the ground in Iceland, as people stand nearby.

Experts claim it is a blue whale, a protected species which has not been harpooned by anyone for the last fifty years.

The whaling station crew posed for photos next to and even on top of the whale ‘in a sign they knew very well this was a rare Blue whale,’ monitors Sea Shepherd claimed.

Photos show the huge animal lying dead on the ground (Picture: Sea Shepherd Global)

First blue whale killed by commercial whalers in over 50 years METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.seashepherdglobal.org/latest-news/iceland-kills-blue-whale/ Credit: Sea Shepherd Global

Experts claim it is a blue whale (Picture: Sea Shepherd Global)

First blue whale killed by commercial whalers in over 50 years METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.seashepherdglobal.org/latest-news/iceland-kills-blue-whale/ Credit: Sea Shepherd Global

It was then chopped up for meat (Picture: Sea Shepherd Global)

Commercial whalers 'kill first blue whale in over 50 years'

One of the crew posed for a photo sitting on it (Picture: Sea Shepherd Global)

They claimed the animal was killed by Kristján Loftsson’s whaling company, which has been allowed to slaughter fin whales by Iceland’s government despite an international moratorium on whaling and the endangered status of the fin whales.

Although Iceland permits the slaughter of fin whales, they do not allow blue whales to be killed.

Dr Phillip Clapham, from the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Centre, said: ‘While I can’t entirely rule out the possibility that this is a hybrid, I don’t see any characteristics that would suggest that.

‘From the photos, it has all the characteristics of a blue whale; given that – notably the coloration pattern – there is almost no possibility that an experienced observer would have misidentified it as anything else at sea.’

Sea Shepherd UK’s Chief Operating officer Robert Read demanded that DNA samples should be taken from from all the whale meat and parts in storage at Loftsson’s whaling station and warehouses.

Metro.co.uk has contacted Hvalur for comment.

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Source: http://metro.co.uk/2018/07/11/commercial-whalers-kill-first-blue-whale-50-years-7704820

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