Time to death in fin whale hunt
In the summer of 2014 Fiskistofa, the Directorate of Fisheries, recruited two Norwegian veterinarians to measure the time to death (TTD) in Icelandic whale hunt. The veterinarians have been involved in such measurements in the Norwegian minke whale hunt for decades. Due to their expertise in the field they were recruited for the work in Iceland.
In the fin whale hunt the TTD was measured for 50 animals. The results show that 42 (84%) of the whales had died instantly which is slightly higher than what has been recorded for the minke whale hunt in Norway. The whales not instantly killed (8) were reshot. The median survival time for those whales was 8 minutes.
Due to bad weather the minke whale hunters were mostly inactive during the period when TTD measurements were planned. Only a single measurement was recorded and thus reliable estimate on minke whale TTD could not be made. Fiskistofa is planning to recruit the same two Norwegian veterinarians to carry out TTD measurements for minke whale hunt during the 2015 season.
The results of the TTD measurements for the Icelandic fin whale hunt will be presented at a NAMMCO (The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission) expert group meeting held in November this year. At the meeting the results will be compared to the results of other similar measurements and different hunting practices assessed.