Environment: Whale of a War off Iceland

A battle at sea on the eve of a summit to save the leviathans

In the choppy, chilly waters 100 miles west of the Icelandic coast, the black-hulled Hvalur-8 was chasing a pod of fin whales. The fins, second only in size (75 ft.) to the mammoth blues, are an endangered species fully protected everywhere else in the world, but the Icelanders are permitted to take a few hundred every year, most of which are shipped off to whale-eating Japan. Suddenly, as the whaler was about to zero in on its prey, a small, outboard-powered Zodiac inflatable materialized under the ship's towering...

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