Fueling Whaling Ships with Whale Oil

Written by on February 10, 2013 in Marine Life, Policy & Ocean Law, Whales & Dolphins
Icelandic whaling vessels in Reykjavík harbour.

Icelandic whaling vessels in Reykjavík harbour. Photo credit: Wurzeller.

Kristjan Loftsson is the chief executive of Icelandic whaling company Hvalur. He recently told the UK’s Sunday Times that his whaling vessels are fueled by whale oil from endangered fin whales.

Loftsson claims that his biofuel, a combination of 20 percent whale oil and 80 percent diesel, is the world’s greenest. He also notes that each boat in his fleet burns the equivalent of one whale per day while hunting for fin whales around Iceland and said the people who oppose his actions are ‘crazies’.

“We have known for a while that Icelandic whaling is no longer simply about feeding people,” said chief executive officer of Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), Chris Butler-Stroud. “It is driven by the greed of a few individuals determined to try to make enormous amounts of money out of the practice, to the extent that they are even willing to use products from endangered whales to fuel their own ships’ engines in order to kill more whales.”

“This is a completely absurd, perverse and unethical move by an industry that is already steeped in the blood of whales, and which is now prepared to use the remains of dead whales to keep its own vessels afloat.”

To learn more:

Fin whale.

Fin whale. Photo credit: NOAA.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of MarineScienceToday.com. She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .

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