To ask the Prime Minister if she will make representations to the Japanese Government in respect of (a) their policy of scientific whaling, (b) their overfishing of smaller cetaceans and (c) their use of monofilament nets.
We have already made known to the Japanese, through the International Whaling Commission, our firm view that whaling for research should not be conducted unless the research can be fully justified scientifically. The research would have to provide vital information which could not be obtained by non-lethal means, and would not endanger the relevant whale stocks. We shall be following this policy at the meeting of the IWC currently taking place in the Netherlands.We have already raised the matter of the killing of small cetaceans with the Japanese Government. In 1989 the Japanese Government introduced new regulations which will reduce the number of Dall's porpoises caught.We fully share the concern about large-scale indiscriminate drift net fishing practised by the Japanese in the South Pacific. The nations concerned were able to agree last year to a United Nations resolution which calls for an end to large-scale drift net fishing in the South Pacific by 30 June 1991 and, unless scientifically proved unnecessary, a global moratorium by 30 June 1992. The United Kingdom with its EC partners was able to play a major and constructive role in these discussions.