Press Release from Wildlife and Countryside Link
The Case for Stronger Wildlife Legislation - Now
Wildlife in crisis
There has possibly never been a greater need to act to protect the UK's wildlife. There is overwhelming evidence that the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 is failing to protect our most valuable species and habitats. Government statistics show that more than 300 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are damaged each year and wildlife on these sites is in serious decline.
For the last few years the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has been calling on the UK Government to improve the legislation which concerns the protection of whales and dolphins in our waters. We detailed our concerns in the WDCS publication "The Dolphin Agenda", which was widely circulated to MPs and others.
A Bill was recently introduced to Parliament which goes a long way towards meeting our concerns. The "Wildlife Bill" recognises, for example;
GREENPEACE THREATENS UK GOVERNMENT WITH COURT ACTION
In a letter sent to John Prescott and Peter Mandelson today, Greenpeace has warned that it may take the UK Government to court unless the Habitats Directive is properly implemented in the Atlantic Frontier. Greenpeace's letter argues that the UK Government is failing to protect cetaceans (whales and dolphins) from the impacts of oil licensing by not implementing the Directive up to 200 nautical miles offshore.
SHOCKED by the dynamiting of bottlenose dolphins in San Bernardino Strait in the Philippines, international conservation groups have come together to protest.
"I have the full will and capacity to inform the public through the media in the United Kingdom of the dolphin slaughter by Filipinos," said Alan Cooper of Cetacea Defence UK in an e-mail to Environment Secretary Antonio Cerilles.
In a bid to protect grey whales during the mating season and reproductive cycle,
whale watching will be limited in the State of Low Southern California, Mexico.
According to an agreement signed between the Secretariat of Environment,
Natural Resources and Fishery (Semarnap) and the State Bureau of Tourism (CET),
the number of tourists will be limited and only 102 crafts will be allowed to
enter the lagoons where grey whales mate in January and April.
If you are a Campaigning Member visiting the site, you should have received by now your December issue of the 'Campaigning Member's Newsletter'.
For those of you that use the web-site as a source of whale and dolphin stories, becoming a campaigning member allows you to get more involved in helping to tackle whale and dolphin issues. The Newsletter contains updates on specific campaigns and 'Action Alerts', where we need our membership to add their invaluable weight to a campaign.
Earlier this week WDCS was informed that three bottlenose dolphins are due to be imported to Bahrain within the next 14 days. Anybody following the work of WDCS will be aware that we have been trying to track all exports of Black Sea dolphins from Russia. Well, again it seems that these dolphins are due to come from the Russian Scientific Research Insitute for Oceanology and Dolphin Training.
US President, Bill Clinton, has thrown a lifeline to endangered Northern right whales following unanimous approval of measures aimed at reducing boat collisions - currently one of the major threats to the survival of this beleaguered species. Since 1994, WDCS has funded the work of scientists Amy Knowlton and Scott Kraus in their efforts to identify and reduce boat/whale collisions and entanglements in fishing gear. We warmly welcome the stance taken by the International Maritime Organisation and applaud the President's timely support for right whales.
By managing when, where and how gillnetters fish in waters off New England and the Mid-Atlantic, federal officials believe harbour porpoises can be protected from accidental entanglement in fishing gear.
New measures announced are expected to prevent more than 1,600 of the nearly 2,000 annual harbour porpoise deaths currently caused by gillnet fishing in these areas.