Subject: newsclip - Makah Indians and gray whales (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Sun, 6 Sep 1998 09:14:35 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 12:47:54 -0400
From: Dagmar Fertl <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: newsclip - Makah Indians and gray whales

     Despite protests, Indian tribe plans to resume whaling

     August 29, 1998

     From Correspondent Rusty Dornin

     NEAH BAY, Washington (CNN) -- For the first time in 70 years, the
     Makah Indians will be hunting gray whales.

     After October 1, the Makah tribe will have the green light to hunt
     five of the mammoth mammals. But as the date approaches, environmental
     groups have protested.

     Tensions are so high that during the tribe's annual celebration this
     weekend the Washington governor called out the National Guard just in
     case there was trouble. The 2,000-member tribe lives on a reservation
     on the tip of Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

     But no protesters showed, a relief to many tribal members who say they
     want to be left alone to observe what they consider a central part of
     their tribal culture.

     "It's bringing our tradition back and our  culture back to our people
     for our children so they can learn (how) our ancestor did it," one
     tribe member told CNN.

     The International Whaling Commission approved the Makah hunt last
     year. The commission allows limited whaling by some native groups that
     can successfully demonstrate that whaling is done for cultural or
     subsistence reasons, and not for commercial sale of whale meat.

     But environmental groups also said the Makah, who haven't hunted
     whales in more than seven decades, can no longer claim to subsist on
     whale meat.

     Critics also say allowing the tribe to  kill for cultural reasons and
     not for ubsistence will open the door for Japan and Norway to resume

     "This isn't a hunt that's going to kill just four or five gray
     whales," said Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
     "The repercussions of this will have an effect on tens of thousands of
     whales that will be killed by the Japanese and Norwegians."

     Critics like Watson plan to protest the hunt, but the Coast Guard
     wants protesters to stay at least 500 yards from hunters.

     Other anti-whaling groups and a Washington congressman who seek
     to stop the hunt threatened in response to include the Coast Guard
      in their lawsuit.

     The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has rammed and sunk pirate
     whaling ships.

     On the Makah hunt, the society says it won't go near the canoes.
     Instead, the group plans to lay down a curtain of sound that will
     frighten gray whales away from the area.