Justice for Slaughtered, Endangered Blue Whale

Target: Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister of Iceland’s Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources

Goal: Investigate and punish those responsible for the alleged killing of an endangered blue whale.

One of the world’s rarest and most beautiful marine animals was allegedly slaughtered by a government-approved expedition. Earlier this week, members of Iceland’s Hvalur hf whaling company reportedly harpooned and killed a blue whale, a critically endangered species that has been federally protected for decades. If the kill is confirmed, this would mark the first known human-driven slaughter of a blue whale in 40 years.

Although whaling is permitted and has a long tradition in Iceland, the government outlawed the killing of blue whales after previously unchecked executions had driven the species’ numbers to dangerously low levels. A crew leader has defended the alleged kill, claiming—despite the assertion of whale experts—that the animal was not a blue whale but rather a type of whale that does not enjoy government protections. The crew member reportedly concedes that if his crew did kill a blue whale, it was only an accident.

This half-hearted defense and dismissive apology will not bring back an animal that stands as a needed lifeline for a species in crisis. Sign this petition to demand accountability for a careless action that puts a world wonder at further risk.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Guðbrandsson,

In released pictures, they can allegedly be seen assessing their kill. One even reportedly stands atop the carcass for a photo op. Yet these individuals who ply their trade in the whaling industry claim ignorance in their potential slaughter of one of the world’s most imminently endangered species.

The actions of the the Hvalur hf whaling company were reckless at best and deliberately malicious at worst. Since the 1970s, the Icelandic government has recognized its special responsibility to the blue whale: a magnificent creature nearly driven to extinction by thoughtless human activity. Your government licensed the whaling company under fire, and as such you have the responsibility to investigate and ensure that if this group did indeed slaughter the first blue whale in over four decades, they receive the proper punishment.

Moreover, you have a responsibility to the vulnerable torchbearers of this species by reasserting in the strongest terms that their outrageous slaughter will not be condoned or forgotten. We demand immediate action.

Sincerely.

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: D. Ramey Logan

Do Not Resume Hunting Endangered Fin Whale

Target: Kristján Loftsson, CEO of Hvalur hf. (roughly translated to Whale Inc.), Iceland

Goal: Do not resume the barbaric hunt of endangered fin whales after two years hunt-free.

The endangered fin whale will once again be threatened by gruesome killings from commercial hunting in Iceland, as the company that conducts the hunt, Hvalur hf, announced plans to resume the hunt after two years hunt-free. The whales are tied with rope to the side of a harpoon ship, dragged to shore, and butchered so that their meat can be sent to Japan.

The head of the company, Kristján Loftsson, said that the hunt was stopped two years ago for bureaucratic reasons, but public opinion has also been increasingly against hunting these whales, whose numbers are considered critically low outside of the Central North Atlantic region around Iceland. The aim of bringing the hunt back is reportedly to use the bones to make gelatin, the meat to develop iron supplements for the anemic, and the blubber for medical purposes that remain unspecified. This is allegedly a marketing strategy created to justify commercially hunting whales again, despite the cruelty of the practice and the risk to the conservation of these endangered animals. Sign below to demand that the fin whale be protected, not hunted.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear CEO Loftsson,

Please do not resume commercially hunting the endangered fin whale. The previous two years without the hunt were an important step for conservation, and to undo that for the sake of corporate profit is inhumane and irresponsible.

The public is opposed to hunting these endangered creatures, and the nature of the hunt—slaughtering whales for their meat and stringing them up to harpoon ships—is cruel and unnecessary, regardless of your company’s use of the carcasses. I urge you not to resume this brutal practice, and to instead work to protect these endangered creatures.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chris Buelow