Rare blue whale hybrid possibly hunted by Icelandic whaling company
Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf who recently began hunting fin whales again, may have killed a rare, protected blue whale or a blue whale/ fin whale hybrid. This was reported by animal rights campaigners Hard To Port who also published photos of the whale being landed in Hvalfjörður and cut up for meat.
Hybrids are very similar to fin whales from above but they have a different colour to their stomach. Hvalur hf. have now hunted 22 fin whales since the beginning of the season.
Gísli Arnór Víkingsson at the Iceland Marine Institute confirmed to mbl.is that they received information that a hybrid whale may have been caught. "We heard about this strange whale straight away and an employee reports that it's in many ways similar to a hybrid which has been brought to us quite a lot recently which is unusual. Photographs point to the fact that it's a hybrid whale and we're almost certain that it is one, but we can't be sure until autumn when we get it DNA testetd," he says speaking to mbl.is.
All hunted whales in Iceland are DNA tested when the season is over. "We will be taking a particular look at this one."
Blue whales are an endangered species but hybrids are not a protected species. "If this were a blue whale it would be against the regulations of the international whaling commision but if it's a hybrid there are no rules that have been broken. Hybrids are not a protected species."