[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 18 July, 2005, 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK
US whales may be brought to UK
Grey whale (file photo)
Grey whales have been extinct in the UK for 400 years
Dozens of whales could be flown to Cumbria from California under a plan by two academics to reintroduce a rare species to the UK.

Gray whales, which weigh up to 40 tonnes (88,184lb), would then be released into the Irish Sea off the Solway Firth.

The scheme is the brainchild of two scientists from the University of Central Lancashire's Penrith Campus.

They will put it before a conservation conference in Brazil this week.

The Californian Gray whale population is around 26,000, and is now at the point where there are surplus numbers which could be transferred to the waters off Britain.

The species lived off the British coast until 400 years ago.

Some people will say it's impossible, but we are deadly serious about this
Dr Owen Nevin

Should the plan be approved, there could be grey whales in Cumbria within the next 10 years.

This could mean a huge financial boost for Cumbria as whale watching is a multi-million pound industry.

The whales would be no threat to the fishing industry as they feed on worms and amphipods that live in sediment and not fish, say the scientists.

The proposal already seems to have the backing of the public after a Lake District survey revealed that 90% of people would be in favour of re-introducing the grey whale to Britain.

Dr Owen Nevin, one of the scientists putting forward the proposal, said: "Some people will say it's impossible, but we are deadly serious about this. It's ecologically, logistically and economically feasible."

Tokyo delighted by visiting whale
05 May 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Whales 'led astray by magnetism'
13 May 05 |  Science/Nature
Unweaving the song of whales
28 Feb 05 |  Science/Nature

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific