Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Session 2002-03

17 July 2003 Cetacean By-catches


17 July 2003 Cetacean By-catches

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee today announced that it intends to set up a Sub-committee to investigate the issue of cetacean (ie. whales, dolphins and porpoises) by-catches by the fishing industry. Its terms of reference are:

"The Committee will investigate cetacean by-catches by the fishing industry. In particular it will examine:

- the number and causes of by-catches, and what research into the matter has been carried out; and

- the likely effectiveness of the Government's UK Small Cetacean By-catch Response Strategy, and what further steps should be taken either by the Government or by the European Union to address the problem."

The Committee invites written evidence from interested parties which addresses the above terms of reference. Evidence should be submitted in Word or WordPerfect formats, and should be sent by e-mail to [email protected] by Friday 12 September 2003. The e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and it would be helpful to include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it, but those wishing to publish their evidence before it is published by the Committee are invited to contact the Clerk of the Committee to obtain permission to do so.

The Sub-committee will be chaired by Ms Candy Atherton MP. Oral evidence sessions will be held in October or November. The details of the oral evidence sessions will be announced in due course.

Information about the UK Small Cetacean By-catch Response Strategy can be found on the Defra website at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/cetacean/index.htm.

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Further details of the Committee, including its current membership, can be found on the Committee's homepage at http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/environment__food_and_rural_affairs.cfm .   This link also provides further links to reports published by the Committee.  Information about the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee can also be obtained from 020 7219 3262.