A UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species, the northern bottle-nosed whale is protected in UK waters by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Orders, 1985; it is illegal to intentionally kill, injure, or harass any cetacean (whale or dolphin) species in UK waters. Whaling is illegal in UK waters, and the International Whaling Commission (IWC) introduced a world moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982 (2), which came into effect in 1986 (9) (although Norway and Japan have continued whaling activities) (2). Seven European countries have signed the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic and North Seas (ASCOBANS), including the UK. Provision is made under this agreement to set up protected areas, promote research and monitoring, pollution control and increase public awareness (4). Increased awareness of this species may help to secure its future (2).
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