Some 1,500 tonnes of whale meat and related whale products were sent to Japan last Saturday, MBL reports.
The ship carrying the meat set sail from Hafnarfjörður last Saturday, and is reportedly taking the northeast route, meaning the ship will be traveling through the Arctic Sea. Not everything that was hunted over the summer was sent to Japan; there is still plenty of whale meat in frozen storage in Iceland.
146 whales were hunted by Hvalur hf., Iceland’s last fin whaling company, during the summer whaling season. This includes not only 144 fin whales, but two blue-fin hybrids.
As reported, the killing of a blue-fin hybrid sparked outrage from around the world. Hunting endangered blue whales is flat-out illegal, even by Icelandic law. Any company that killed a blue whale would have their operations grounded immediately, and it could result in additional penalties.
Inexplicably, though, hunting a hybrid of a blue and another whale is perfectly legal by Icelandic law, even if the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) expressly forbids the practice.
Whether or not Hvalur hf. will still be in operation next year remains to be seen.