The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has outlawed all commercial whaling activities, and specifically Blue whales and Fin whales are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
No other nation, not even Japan or Norway, slaughters Fin whales, and there has not been a Blue whale harpooned by anyone for the last fifty years until this one, Sea Shepherd informed.
From photographs taken, and according to several scientific experts specializing in whale identification contacted by Sea Shepherd, the whale is without question a Blue whale.
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.
...says Dr. Phillip Clapham, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Centre.
Sea Shepherd Founder Captain Paul Watson is appealing to Icelandic authorities to stop these crimes against conservation, which lack any 'legal justification'.
Blue whales have been protected worldwide by the International Whaling Commission since the 1960s, after decades of exploitation. before regulations were set, blue whales were nearly wiped out by whaling fleets, with 360,000 of these marine mammals being killed in the 20th century in Antarctic alone, according to WWF.