Subject: Whaling:World whaler commission establ (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Mon, 17 Nov 1997 13:55:28 -0500 (EST)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 15 Nov 97 14:46:00 GMT 
Subject: World whaler commission establ

World whaler commission establishes quotas for

  WASHINGTON, October 29 (Itar-Tass) -  The International whaler
commission at its annual session has endorsed quotas for catches of
whales for the native population in Chukotka (Russia) and the US
aboriginal population from the states of Alaska and Washington. The
quotas will be in effect for a term of five years, the US Commerce
Department reported on Tuesday and specified that both the United
States and Russia had made a joint application asking to authorize
catches of 124 gray whales a year on average.
   The commission which regulates all kinds of whalers' activities in
the world has authorized the native population of Chukotka to catch
120 gray whales a year, while the authorized quota for the Maka tribe
living in remote northwest areas of the state of Washington is four
gray whales a year. Besides, Eskimos in Russia and Alaska were given a
quota of 56 Greenland whales a year.
   A statement issued by the US Commerce Department says that whale
catches play an important role in the life of the indigenous
population both in the north of Russia and the United States and
are regarded as part of their cultural traditions. For instance,
the Maka tribe had been hunting for whales for nearly 1,500 years
when at the beginning of the 20th century the tribe was suspended
from whale catches because the number of whales in the world had
considerably declined as a result of commercial whale catches,
and government programmes of assimilation urged the aboriginal
population to take on farming.
   According to the US Commerce Department, now, almost half of
the Maka tribe live below the poverty line, unemployment has
reached 50 percent and stocks of fish and other marine life have
dropped to a record low level in history.
   US experts pointed out that restricted catches of gray whales
would not have a negative effect on the overall number of these
specimens at sea. In post-war years these giant whales living in
coastal waters in northern Pacific faced the threat of extinction
and catches of this kind of whales had been banned until recently.
Now, the number of such whales has grown to exceed 22,000.