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 at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Rome in March and the annual IWC meeting in Madeira in June the United Kingdom will vote against options contained in the "Chairs' suggestions on the Future of the International Whaling Commission" paper that would legalise catches of whales either in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary or in the North Pacific Ocean to ensure such options are not agreed either by consensus or through an abstention by the United Kingdom.

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

Save through an amendment to Article VIII of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (which would probably require the convening of a formal diplomatic conference to adopt it and subsequent ratification by all parties to bring it into effect), the International Whaling Commission has no power to alter the legal status of whaling under special permit. The UK could agree to the legalisation of other forms of whaling only if it was convinced that by doing so it would bring about a significant improvement of whale conservation in the long term.

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