DEFRA leads on the conservation and management of whales and dolphins, keeping in close contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the UK has always taken a leading position on promoting conservation. The Government raise their opposition to Japan’s hunting of whales and dolphins at every appropriate opportunity. Most recently, I raised this issue with the Japanese Fisheries Minister during an official visit to Japan in April this year.
The international whaling ban has been extremely successful for many decades, but the minority of countries that do not respect it are looking to erode it. What further steps will my hon. Friend take to ensure that it is rigorously enforced?
I completely agree with my hon. Friend. The UK strongly supports the global moratorium on commercial whaling and continues at every appropriate opportunity to call on all whaling nations to cease their whaling activities. I currently plan to attend the International Whaling Commission meeting in Slovenia later this year, when we will reiterate our opposition to commercial and scientific permit whaling and work constructively with other like-minded countries to secure the correct outcomes.