IcelandSpeciesWhaling

Blue whales under threat despite International Whaling Commission ban

Many thanks to Kenneth Gibson MSP (Scottish Government Blue Whale Species Champion) for submitting a Parliamentary Motion to highlight and condemn Iceland’s recent slaughter of endangered blue and fin whales and to condemn this barbaric industry in all its forms.

That the Parliament notes with concern reports that on 07 July 2018, a rare blue whale was slaughtered in the fjord of Hvalfjordur in Iceland; recognises that blue whales were hunted to the brink of extinction by commercial whalers from many countries, including the UK, with the population in the Atlantic falling from an estimated 239,000 before hunting began in the late 19th century to just 360 individual whales in 1966, when the species was under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission; understands that while the whaling company, Hvalur hf, claims that the whale was a blue-fin whale hybrid, experts agree that the mammal possessed all the features of a blue whale, including mottled blue skin, a black baleen, and a relatively small hooked dorsal film; notes that Iceland set record-high quotas for the export of fin whales this year, with a base quota of 209 whales plus an addition 30 from last years unused quota, in spite of the International Whaling Commission’s global moratorium on commercial whaling; believes that this incident confirms the fact that there is no such thing as responsible whaling and the continued facilitation of fin whale hunting is putting protected species such as blue whales at unnecessary risk; is concerned that in spite of its protected status, blue whale meat still shows up in Japanese markets labelled as that of other species; condemns any action which threatens the blue whale population, which is currently estimated at only 10,000-25,000 worldwide, making them one of the rarest whales on the planet, and encourages Icelandic authorities to confirm the species of the whale in question and put an end to the entirely unnecessary practice of whaling entirely, to protect the populations of all whales, including the magnificent blue whale, the largest species of fauna that has ever been known to have existed on this planet.

Kenneth Gibson MSP