§ Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many hon. Members wrote to him regarding whaling during the last six months; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Curry
Over the last six months, this Department has received and replied to some 5,000 letters. Of these, over 1,000 were from hon. Members on behalf of themselves or their constituents. Very many letters have welcomed the stand we are taking in the International Whaling Commission to help conserve and protect the world's stocks of whales and small cetaceans.
§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will set out the steps he intends to 95W take during his European presidency to press to end all commercial whaling, and protect whales; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Curry
Trade in whale products by member states is already prohibited by the Community through regulations implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Additionally, Council directive 92/43/EEC, adopted in May 1992, requires member states to take action to protect all species of whales by mid 1994. All forms of whaling within United Kingdom fishery limits are already banned and as far as we are aware, no whaling currently takes place within the fishery limits of other member states. Moreover, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, like the United Kingdom, are members of the International Whaling Commission and, as such, are bound by its moratorium on commercial whaling.