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Call for UK to press for more action on marine mammals

16 November 2022

The UK Parliament’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has called on the UK government to ensure that the protection of marine mammals, such as dolphins and whales, is a negotiating priority ahead of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity being held in Montreal from 7 to 19 December. 

The scrutiny committee is calling on the government to use the conference in Montreal to secure global agreement on the ‘30 by 30’ ambition of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. But the ‘30 by 30’ target has not yet been agreed by all parties.

The UK parliamentary committee is conducting an inquiry into marine mammals and is urging the government to drive action on biodiversity internationally, including in Montreal. The committee is also calling for further talks on agreeing a ‘High Seas Treaty’ to protect marine mammals in oceans which are beyond national jurisdictions. 

The Chair of the parliamentary committee, Sir Robert Goodwill MP, said in a letter to the minister responsible for marine affairs, Lord Richard Benyon, that protecting marine mammals is vital. This is because of the many threats to them, including pollution and hunting, and because they have been referred to as a ‘sentinel species’ - indicators of ocean health more broadly.  

The letter was sent today, November 16, the day dedicated to biodiversity at the UN Climate Change Conference being held at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.   

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