International Whaling Commission

House of Lords written question – answered on 4th March 2009.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the "Chairs' suggestions on the Future of the International Whaling Commission" paper proposes a solution that will end the large-scale unilateral catches currently issued under Special Permits by Japan or other countries such as Iceland.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Minister of State (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality), Department for Energy and Climate Change, Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change), Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Development, Climate Change Adaptation and Air Quality) (also in the Department for Energy and Climate Change), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

The right of any contracting Government to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to issue special permits and to conduct lethal research whaling is enshrined in Article VIII of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). The chairs' suggestions do not include any proposal to amend Article VIII. The extent to which current so-called scientific whaling may or may not be curtailed as a result of pursuing any of the options advanced in the chairs' paper will depend on the willingness of those Governments currently pursuing such operations to scale them back voluntarily, in exchange for other possible concessions. There would be no legal recourse for the IWC if such voluntary action were ever discontinued.

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