Icelandic whalers are skating on some pretty thin ice with one of their recent kills. This July, a boat of whalers killed what looks like a blue whale. If, in fact, this is a blue whale, these whalers and their company could be in some significant federal trouble. The flip to this is if the whale is a hybrid of a blue whale and a fin whale, then the whalers are free and clear. Fact is no one is 100 percent sure at this moment, but the company is getting a fair share of publicity over the issue.

Whaling problems

Whaling has been a form of hunting that has been around for centuries.

Some of the cultures that would have used whales would be the Japanese and Native American culture. They would use them for medicines, food, and daily tools and material. Whaling didn't become a problem until money and trade got involved. The majority of countries have banned whaling altogether because the world's whale population is on the endangered species list. On the BBC News website, they state that the whales were hunted to the "brink during the 1940s to the 1960s."

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation(WDC) had a few words to say on this manner and had Astrid Fuchs speak on their behalf. BBC News has her saying that she hopes this is the "last nail in the coffin" to end Icelandic whaling.

She continues about how scientists have been saying, for years, that it is hard to regulate hunting for whales because the ocean is too unpredictable and you never know what you may kill. Astrid Fuchs specified how because of the unpredictability in this form of hunting that whaling is "out of the control of the hunters" and how "whaling can't be regulated."

The owner of the company, Kristján Loftsson, had a few words to say on the matter at hand.

BBC News reported Kristján Loftsson saying how they have this problem happened at least five times in previous years, and the DNA has always come back as a hybrid of the two animals. He continued saying that it is easy to see the difference in the two whales in the water and if it looked like an authentic blue whale they wouldn't have captured and killed it.

On the flip side of what Kristján Loftsson reportedly said, Dr. Phillip Clapham, from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Alaska Fisheries Science Centre said that "it does look like a blue whale". Dr. Philip Clapham stated that the "notable coloration pattern" would have anyone believe that it is a blue whale. BBC News reported Arne Feuerhahn, campaign group Hard to Port, saying that they can't be 100% positive just by the photograph alone, but they have contacted a few experts some saying that it may be a juvenile male blue whale or a hybrid Blue-Fin whale.

DNA test to hold the ruling

This DNA test is essential to not only the whalers but the government of Iceland and the WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation).

Reykjavik Grapevine reported that the DNA of this deceased whale would hold its eligibility of the selling the whale meat or not. It will also rule in the future of Kristján Loftsson's business of whaling for if the whale is an actual blue whale, then his company will be hit with significant legal federal consequences. According to BBC News, if the whale is a real blue whale, they can't ship the meat out of the country or sell it legally period. They also report that if one of the whale's parents was a blue whale, then Japan can't purchase the meat legally. The only way the whalers would be able to be in the all clear and make some money would be if it was a hybrid and its parents weren't blue whales.

The problem that BBC News reported on is the waiting period for the DNA test to be done. Arne Feuerhahn said that she was told that the company that looks after the marine DNA testing that the results may not be in till the fall or at the latest this winter. According to BBC News, the Icelandic government is not dragging their feet on this issue. Minister Kristján Thor Juliusson had this to say, that they can neither confirm or deny the family of the whale until the "DNA analysis has been concluded," which happens to be a process that has now been "expedited due to the nature of these reports."

Whether or not the tests have been expedited, the knowledge and the picture shown on BBC News has left the world speechless and saddened to see an enormous, majestic creature lying dead on a dock being hosed down by the whalers.