EFRA marine mammal protection report welcomed

news-freddie-23 April 2021

BDMLR welcomes the release of a report yesterday by the Government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on marine mammal protection in the UK and abroad.

The report’s release coincided with a debate in Parliament the previous day on giving legal protection to seals from human disturbance, which was secured by BDMLR and partner organisations via the Seal Alliance coalition of groups that have been campaigning for this over the last three years.

In summary, the report makes several recommendations to the Government, including:

– Add seals to Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act to give them legal protection from disturbance as soon as possible.
– Close a loophole in legislation that continues to allow the transit of cetacean products through UK ports.
– Bring forward primary legislation for marine mammal protection.
– Launch a new initiative to encourage technological solutions to improve marine mammal monitoring data collection.
– Phase in mandatory marine mammal bycatch reporting from fisheries.
– To proactively engage with countries that hunt marine mammals such as Norway, Japan, Faroe Islands, Iceland and others, and to not agree any new trade deals with them that does not include a specific commitment to marine mammal conservation.

The full report can be read here.

The Government has two months to respond to the Committee’s recommendations.