HC Deb 05 August 1975 vol 897 cc134-5W
Mr. Stephen Ross

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food why he has not imposed a ban on the import of by-products from the sperm whale in order to give evidence of the United Kingdom's support for a 10-year moratorium on the killing of whales.

Mr. Bishop

The United Kingdom has supported the adoption by the International Whaling Commission of the Australian amendment to the 10-years moratorium proposal. This, while permitting strictly controlled exploitation of stocks which are at or near the level at which they provide the maximum sustainable yield, gives complete protection to any stock more than 10 per cent. below that level.

Sperm whales are one of the four species which can still be hunted commercially under these arrangements. As the stocks are not in danger of over-exploitation, and certain industries would face considerable difficulties if they were unable to obtain sperm whale products, the importation of such products has not been prohibited.