Havalur Hf, an Icelandic whaling company, started haunting whales and killed a rare blue hybrid. This was reported by animal rights campaigners Hard To Port who also published photos of the whale being landed and cut up for meat.
It is worth noting that blue whales are an endangered species, but hybrids are not a protected species. However, the company granted permission, which came into force on June 10, 2018, to catch more than 161 whales this year. “If this were a blue whale, it would be against the regulations of the international whaling commission, but if it’s a hybrid, there are no rules that have been broken. Hybrids are not a protected species,” Gísli Arnór Víkingsson, a researcher of the Iceland Marine Institute.
Although conservationists have fought against the whale haunting, this case is a sharp blow due to the whale’s rarity and protection status. Blue whales have been protected worldwide by the International Whaling Commission since the 1960s. According to the World Worldwide Fund, blue whales were nearly wiped out by whaling fleets before regulations were created. Besides, more than 350,000 blue whales were hunted and killed in the 20th century in Antarctic waters alone.