Dolphins, whales and seals being failed by UK government policy, MPs say

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UK urged to use trade deals as bargaining tool to protect marine mammals

Whales are hunted as part of the traditions of the Faroe Islands, an autonomous Danish territory in the north Atlantic. Image: Arne via wikimedia, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Dolphins and other marine mammals are being failed by the UK government, MPs have said, as they call for ministers not to sign trade deals without considering cetacean welfare.

The UK has poorer protections for dolphins, whales and seals than other countries, a report by the environment, food and rural affairs (Efra) committee has found.

MPs said trade deals were still being struck with countries that hunted whales and dolphins, including Norway, Iceland, Japan and the Faroe Islands, the autonomous Danish territory in the north Atlantic.

Ministers should use their “soft power” to encourage these countries to stop killing marine mammals, the committee recommended, using trade deals to incentivise the halting of the practice.

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