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MEPs back EU action on whaling

February 19, 2009 2:26 PM

West Midlands MEP Liz Lynne has today welcomed a new report by the European Parliament calling for the current moratorium on commercial whaling to be upheld by the international community.

Along with the moratorium, the report supports a ban on international trade in whale products, the elimination of whaling for scientific purposes and the creation of marine sanctuaries where whales are specially protected.

At the same time it respects the needs of communities that have traditionally engaged in whaling for their sustenance but maintains that such whaling should only take place under scientifically based quotas and controls.

The report also calls on the European Commission to bring forward proposals to do more to protect whales from threats caused by ship strikes, fishing gear and anthropogenic noise in Community waters or from Community vessels.

The report, which was written by one of Liz Lynne's LibDem colleagues, also emphasises the need for international agreement to be reached if effective measures for the protection of whales are to be developed and implemented successfully.

Commenting on the vote Liz said:

"It is clear that the issue of whaling and the protection of whales have to be addressed comprehensively and according to rules based on sufficiently broad agreement to be implemented effectively.

"It is crucial, too, that the European Union plays a constructive role in negotiations that bring such an agreement, helping to establish a framework that will allow whale conservation to be maximised.

"If this is not done, whale populations will continue to be at risk in the short and longer term".

ENDS

The report is available on:

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&reference=A6-2009-0025&language=EN