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Whales

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with representatives of foreign Governments on whaling since the International Whaling Commission 59 meeting; and if he will make a statement. (177576)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no discussions with his foreign counterparts on this issue.

The departmental lead on this subject is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and DEFRA work closely together regarding whaling, in particular lobbying foreign Governments, emphasising the importance which the UK attaches to whale conservation.

On 21 December 2007, the UK, along with 29 other countries and the EU, made a formal diplomatic representation to the Japanese Government in Tokyo urging it to stop its lethal whaling programme in the Antarctic.

In January 2008, the FCO and DEFRA will launch a lobbying campaign spearheaded by the global distribution of the newly revised DEFRA brochure “Protecting whales—a global responsibility” including a foreword from my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to discuss whaling and the international moratorium on whaling with other Governments before the IWC60 meeting; and if he will make a statement. (177609)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has no current plans for discussions with his foreign counterparts on this issue.

The departmental lead on this subject is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and DEFRA work closely together regarding whaling, in particular lobbying foreign Governments, emphasising the importance which the UK attaches to whale conservation.

Upcoming initiatives include a conference organised by our embassy in Reykjavik in March to highlight the advantages of whale watching. Our embassy in Copenhagen is arranging a similar event, also in March, in which a range of people will participate, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

In January 2008, the FCO and DEFRA will launch a lobbying campaign spearheaded by the global distribution of the newly revised DEFRA brochure “Protecting whales—a global responsibility” including a foreword from my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. Further targeted lobbying will be carried out by FCO posts in the run up to IWC 60.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his foreign counterparts on whale conservation; and if he will make a statement. (177610)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no recent discussions with his foreign counterparts on this issue.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I have given to him today (UIN 177576).