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The Whales Working Group works to ensure better protection of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) through the reform of the International Whaling Commission into a conservation body, and by addressing other issues relating to cetacean conservation and welfare both in the UK and globally, such as marine contaminants, bycatch and disturbance.

Chair: Mark Simmonds, Humane Society International-UK
Vice Chair: Lucy Babey, ORCA
Link: Matt Browne, Advocacy Lead

Update from the Group

The Whales Group is one of the longest standing Groups at Link.

Whales Group members have successfully campaigned for a moratorium on commercial whaling and supported the UK Government to establish and maintain a strong stance focused on cetacean welfare at the International Whaling Commission. The Group also works on the issue of bycatch of endangered, threatened and protected species.

The Group has a strong relationship with the UK delegation to the IWC, including the Minister, currently Lord Goldsmith and regularly meet to discuss priority issues relating to the IWC.

The bycatch group work with Defra to ensure the incidental capture of protected species such as dolphins, porpoises, seabirds and sharks, is minimised and where possible eliminated in UK waters. Mostly recently they secured a commitment to tackle sensitive species bycatch in the Fisheries Bill. It is also supporting Defra in the development of a bycatch action plan.

For further information, contact Matt Browne, Link's Advocacy Lead.

Last updated: 30 October 2020