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Whaling

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of whales killed for scientific research in each year since the international moratorium on commercial whaling was introduced, broken down by species. (77385)

Up to 2005 the number of whales taken each year, by species and by country for scientific whaling (since the moratorium was introduced in 1986) are shown in the following table as reported to the International Whaling Commission.

Country

Species taken

Number

1986

Iceland

Fin

76

Sei

40

Rep. of Korea

Minke

69

1987

Iceland

Fin

80

Sei

20

1987-88

Japan

Minke

273

1988

Iceland

Fin

68

Sei

10

Norway

Minke

29

1988-89

Japan

Minke (inc. 5 dwarf)

241

1989

Iceland

Fin

68

Norway

Minke

17

Japan

Minke (inc. 3 dwarf and 1 lost)

330

1990

Norway

Minke

5

1990-91

Japan

Minke (inc. 4 dwarf)

327

1991-92

Japan

Minke

288

1992

Norway

Minke (inc. 3 lost)

95

1992-93

Japan

Minke (inc. 3 dwarf)

330

1993

Norway

Minke

69

1993-94

Japan

Minke

330

1994

Norway

Minke

74

Japan

Minke

21

1994-95

Japan

Minke

330

1995

Japan

Minke

100

1995-96

Japan

Minke

440

1996

Japan

Minke

77

1996-97

Japan

Minke

440

1997

Japan

Minke

100

1997-98

Japan

Minke

438

1998

Japan

Minke

100

1998-99

Japan

Minke

389

1999

Japan

Minke

100

1999-2000

Japan

Minke

439

2000

Japan

Minke

40

Bryde's

43

Sperm

5

2000-01

Japan

Minke

440

2001

Japan

Minke

100

Bryde's

50

Sperm

8

Sei (in error)

1

2001-02

Japan

Minke

440

2002

Japan

Minke

102

Bryde's

50

Sei

40

Sperm

5

Minke

50

2002-03

Japan

Minke (inc. 1 lost)

441

2003

Iceland

Minke (inc. 1 lost)

37

Japan

Minke (inc. 1 lost)

101

Bryde's

50

Sei

50

Sperm

10

Minke

50

2003-04

Japan

Minke (inc. 3 lost)

443

2004

Iceland

Minke

25

Japan

Minke

100

Bryde's (inc. 1 lost)

51

Sei

100

Sperm

3

(inc. 1 lost)

60

2004-05

Japan

Minke (inc. 1 lost)

441

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the UK’s objectives are for the next International Whaling Commission meeting. (77386)

The UK’s key aims are to resist any attempts to end the moratorium on commercial whaling and resist threats to weaken or remove the conservation agenda of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). We will also highlight the cruelty involved in whaling, and promote the adoption of a new whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic. Furthermore, we will strongly urge Japan, Iceland and Norway, to cease their whaling activities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what changes to the present international whaling arrangements a majority of votes at the International Whaling Commission could achieve. (77387)

Although Japan and her allies may, for the first time, gain a simple majority at the next annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), such a majority would not be sufficient to overturn the moratorium on commercial whaling (which requires a ¾ majority). However, it would enable them to determine the IWC agenda, delete certain key conservation items and change the rules of procedure to their ultimate benefit.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who the member states are of the International Whaling Commission; and which are eligible to vote. (77388)

The International Whaling Commission, as of 12 June, has 70 member Contracting Governments: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Republic of Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Kiribati, Luxembourg, Mali, Republic of Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palau, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Senegal, Slovak Republic, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States.

How many of these member states have voting rights will be determined only at the opening of the next annual International Whaling Commission meeting (IWC58) on 16 June, when it is known whether member states have paid their annual subscription and whether their credentials are in order. Even then the position can change during the meeting.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which member states of the International Whaling Commission are (a) in favour of and (b) against (i) commercial and (ii) scientific whaling. (77475)

Issues are very rarely put to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in such stark terms. As such, the UK Government cannot determine with absolute confidence how each IWC member state might vote on removing the moratorium on commercial whaling or in protest against scientific whaling.