A millionaire from Iceland killed a rare blue whale, and has vowed to kill 150 more.
Kristjan Loftsson no doubt believes his wealth allows him to evade all good judgement, as he has vowed to go on what is essentially a whale killing spree.
The Icelandic millionaire was involved in an operation which is claimed to be the first illegally killed blue whale in over 50 years.
The creature was killed with a harpoon cannon. The whale fishing company responsible – which is owned by Loftsson – claimed the whale was a hybrid of a blue whale and a fin whale, which meant that legally, they were allowed to kill it.
However, Dr Phillip Clapham from the NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Centre had his doubts.
Speaking to the Metro, he 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.
The whale was brought on land in Iceland and dismembered, and genetic tests carried out by Iceland’s Marine Research Institute confirmed the animal was a hybrid of a blue whale and a fin whale.
The hybrids are rare whales, and both hybrid and blue whales are protected under international conventions.
While animal rights activists gave Kristjan Loftsson a lot of criticism for his actions, the man didn’t seem to care what they were saying, or how horrible his actions were.
According to the Mirror, Sigursteinn Masson, from the International Fund for Animal Welfare in Iceland, explained the aim to call off whaling altogether.
The killing of a blue-fin whale hybrid demonstrates the difficulty for whalers at sea to identify which species they are pursuing.
The result is that a rare and protected species has suffered as collateral damage from a cruel, unnecessary and increasingly unpopular hunt.
— Hard To Port (@hardtoport) July 8, 2018
Now that the evidence has been confirmed, we once again call for an immediate and permanent end to this whaling to prevent further harm to these endangered species, which not only play a crucial role within the marine ecosystem, but also embody such a rich national and cultural heritage as well.
IFAW has worked alongside Icelanders for many years to promote responsible whale watching, rather than whale killing.
This is better for whales, Iceland’s tourism industry and its international reputation.
Despite this, Loftsson is planning to hunt another 150 whales this summer alone, the Mirror report.
Loftsson’s ships will be searching the waters over the next few months to try and meet their disgusting 150-kills target.
The poor blue whale hybrid that was killed was turned into slabs of meat, while the its blubber and bones were left to decay at the side of the ocean.
More than half the restaurants in Iceland are ‘whale free’, and only 1 per cent of Icelanders eat whale meat regularly.
Meanwhile, Iceland’s economy is boosted by £2.5 billion a year from foreign tourists, many of whom take part in whale watching trips.
Ideally, whaling will be ruled out soon, preventing Loftsson from killing any more of the innocent animals.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.