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Whales: Conservation

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the likelihood of securing a majority in the International Whaling Commission for a complete ban on commercial whaling; (144140)

(2) what measures to protect whales were agreed at the recent International Whaling Commission meeting.

Since the UK and the anti-whaling bloc had a simple majority at this year’s meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), we were able to sponsor and secure several key resolutions: calling on Japan to halt its lethal “scientific” research programme; promoting the non-lethal use of cetaceans; and reaffirming the continued need for the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling. This last resolution subsequently served us well in the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, enabling us to defeat proposals aimed at eventually allowing trade in whale products to take place.