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 they will urge other European Union nations that are members of the International Whaling Commission to oppose and vote against any of the options that would legalise whale catchers in the Southern Ocean sanctuary or the North Pacific Ocean that were included in the non-paper Chairs' suggestions on the Future of the IWC presented to the United Kingdom and other member nations of the Commission on 2 February.

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 options included in the chairs' suggestions on the future of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) are not sufficiently clear to enable a definitive evaluation of them to be made. At the intersessional meeting of the IWC, the UK will seek to probe their meaning and determine whether there is any likelihood that they could subsequently be framed as amendments to the schedule to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling which could command support. In so far as options are worked up into amendments (which will not be up for consideration until the annual meeting of the IWC in June), the UK will certainly urge those EU member states which are also members of the IWC to oppose and vote against any measures, the adoption of which would not guarantee a significant improvement in the conservation status of whales in the long term.

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