Whales and dolphins
Defra works with other departments and agencies in the UK to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises.The Head of Defra's Marine and Freshwater Biodiversity Division is the UK Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and the Division is responsible for policy on whaling in consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The UK plays a leading role in negotiations in the IWC - the UK policy is to maintain the IWC's international moratorium on commercial whaling that was introduced in 1985/86. All whales are protected by law in UK waters.
The UK is also a Party to ASCOBANS - the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas – which aims to restore and/or maintain biological or management stocks of small cetaceans at the level they would reach when there is the lowest possible anthropogenic influence and proposes to reach these aims through co-ordinating and implementing conservation measures for small cetaceans.
Defra Marine and Freshwater Biodiversity Division
2nd Floor, Nobel House,
17 Smith Square,
London, SW1P 3JR
Page published: 28 April 2009
Page last modified: 20 December 2007