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Whaling

Volume 175: debated on Wednesday 4 July 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his position in respect of the review of the moratorium on commercial whaling to be carried out by the International Whaling Commission in July.

The history of whaling has been one of consistent over-exploitation of one species of whale after another. The moratorium on commercial whaling which should have operated since 1986 has in fact been fully respected only for the last two years. I am determined that whale species should not again be placed at risk by a hasty resumption of whaling.At the International Whaling Commission we will be carefully studying the work of the scientific committee and if there is any doubt at all about the capacity of any whale stock to bear a resumption of whaling we will firmly oppose any suggestion that whaling recommence. In any case we will insist that the International Whaling Commission must adopt a revised management procedure which will ensure that all whale stocks remain at healthy levels even if whaling is resumed in the future. I am determine that the history of over-exploitation of whale stocks must never be repeated.