§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the Government plan to encourage the establishment of whale sanctuaries in the(a) Pacific and (b) South Atlantic. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
Within the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the establishment of Whale Sanctuaries requires a ¾ majority of those contracting Governments present and voting. The UK provided strong support to proposals in respect of both the South Pacific Whale Sanctuary and the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. Through FCO we lobbied both range states and others who oppose these sanctuaries, but have so far been unable to secure the ¾ majority necessary for their adoption. Our efforts will continue, should similar proposals be submitted to the IWC next year.285W
§ Norman Baker
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's assessment is of the impact of scientific whaling on the world's population of whales, by type. 
§ Mr. Bradshaw
It is not possible for the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to assess the impact of scientific whaling on the world's population of whales by type because population estimates exist for only two of the whale species targeted by Japan—Southern Hemisphere and North Pacific minke whales. However, the IWC is undertaking a major review of the former as the 1992 estimate is not considered reliable. No reliable stock estimates exist for the other whales killed under Japan's research programmes.