HC Deb 09 July 1990 vol 176 cc21-2W
Mr. Hardy

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action he is taking to protect dolphins and porpoises in British waters and internationally.

Mr. Trippier

[holding answer 5 July 1990]: All species of cetacean already receive protection through their listing in schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This means that it is an offence to kill, injure, take or sell any wild cetacean.

At the third North sea conference at the Hague, Ministers of states bordering the North sea signed a memorandum of understanding on small cetaceans. The agreement specifies a series of measures to improve our knowledge of the health and status of these species and threats to them and gives a commitment in principle to take appropriate regulatory action where it is clear that human activities are causing damage.

At the meeting of the International Whaling Commission now taking place in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom has fully supported the proposal by New Zealand to bring small whales, dolphins and porpoises within the remit of the commission.

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