Mr. Alan W. Williams
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will give an estimate of the number of dolphins around Britain's coasts and their estimated numbers for any year from 1959 onwards for which figures are available.
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
I have been asked to reply.
It is not at present possible to give reliable estimates of the numbers of small cetacean species, including dolphins, even for relatively small areas of coastal waters. Useful information has been derived from records of strandings and from the voluntary sightings scheme run by the United Kingdom cetacean group of the Mammals Society. Further projects are being considered by the relevant Departments and agencies.