UK Government Scores 1/10 in Efforts to Protect Whales, Dolphins

Released: 8/23/2007 8:50 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (North America)
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Newswise — WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has released a new 122 page report highlighting the growing dangers in our seas to the UK's whales and dolphins; this can be viewed at http://www.whales.org/pdf/TheConservationOfBritishCetaceans.pdf. The report, which brings together for the first time all current threats facing UK cetaceans, calls on the UK government to commit to improving the protection of whales and dolphins and highlights threats and possible remedies.

To accompany this report, WDCS has produced a 'UK Government score sheet' which grades the current government action on a number of the most serious threats to the UK's wildlife on a scale of 1 " 10. Worryingly, many of the conclusions rate the government's action at just 1 out of 10.

The senior author of the report " The Conservation of British Cetaceans* - is Professor Chris Parsons of George Mason University in Virginia, US (who was previously based in the UK) who was assisted in producing this comprehensive document by some of WDCS' own experts.

WDCS Director of Science, Mark Simmonds, an author of the report, said: "These scores demonstrate how seriously the Government is underachieving and show how little is being done to stop harmful threats to whales and dolphins in UK seas. Too often it is a case of 'out of sight out of mind' and this attitude needs to change if we are to avoid loosing these magnificent animals from our waters forever."

The report, which has gone out to all UK MPs, makes a number of urgent recommendations for the improvement of the protection afforded to marine mammals, all of which experts agree are necessary if whales and dolphins are to survive in British waters. The issues evaluated include fisheries by-catch (2/10), chemical pollution (4/10), noise pollution (1/10), boat traffic (1/10) and climate change (3/10).

Notes to Editors:

The full title and authors of the new report: The Conservation of British Cetaceans: A review of the threats and protection afforded to whales, dolphins and porpoises in UK waters by E.C.M. Parsons, J. Clark, A. Ross and M.P. Simmonds.

Professor Parson's CV can be found at: http://www.marinepolicy.net/cparsons/


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