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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protected-marine-species/cetaceans-dolphins-porpoises-and-whales
All species of dolphins, porpoises and whales. Cetaceans are also protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
The Marine Management Organisation has also produced guidance on reducing cetacean by-catch by using acoustic dissuasive devices, also known as pingers, that are attached to nets.
Offences under regulations 45 and 47 of the Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (COHSR) are from 12 to 200 nautical miles.
Offences under regulations 43 and 45 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (CHSR) and sections 9(4)(a) – protects whales and dolphins – and 9(5) – protects whales, dolphins and porpoises – of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) (WCA) are from 0 to 12 nautical miles.
|Kill or injure||X||X|
|Possess or keep||X||X|
|Damage or destroy place of resting, shelter or breeding||X||X|
|Disturb||X||X||X (does not include porpoises)|
|Transport, expose, sell, exchange, advertise for sale||X||X||X|
|Use prohibited or unauthorised method to capture or kill||X||X||X|
2. Pair trawling for bass
Pair trawling for bass off the south-west coast of England has been shown to have a high level of cetacean by-catch compared to other fisheries. Because of this, pelagic pair trawling for bass by UK vessels is banned within 12 miles of the south-west coast of England (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) area VIIe). Other bass fisheries, such as gillnetting, hand lining and pair trawling targeting other species are not affected by the ban.
The UK requested that the ban on pelagic pair trawling for bass be extended to vessels from other EU member states, but this request was turned down by the EC. These vessels are currently permitted to fish between 6 and 12 miles off the coast of south-west England.
3. Further information
4. Contact information
4.1 Marine Conservation and Enforcement Team
0300 123 1032