Subject: IWC INFRACTIONS (fwd)

mike williamson (
Fri, 21 May 1999 13:59:36 -0400 (EDT)

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Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 08:32:12 EDT
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An official with the International Whaling Commission has stated the Makah 
whale kill falls within an agreement it made with the tribe two years ago 
("Whaling Commission Reacts To Hunt." Tuesday May 18th. Yahoo! News)

Breach Marine Protection considers this statement to be untrue, and no more 
than yet another blatant attempt by Raymond Gambell's (Secretary to the IWC) 
office to justify their 1997 appeasement of the United States.

The inconsistency of Gambell is amazing. In a letter to attorney Eric Dickman 
of Seattle, dated October 5, 1998, Gambell stated "The IWC has specifically 
not passed a judgement on recognizing or otherwise the claim of the Makah 
Tribe, since the member nations were clearly unable to agree."

To: Raymond Gambell, Martin Harvey.

Breach Marine Protection, on behalf of the international community who oppose 
Makah whaling (I have to tell you, the numbers involved now exceed the 
populations of a good proportion of the Countries who are members of the IWC, 
and thus qualify for a voice in your deliberations), raises the following 
questions to be asked of the United States delegation to the International 
Whaling Commission at the Commissioner's meeting in Granada due to start 
24th. May, 1999. 

We insist these questions are investigated thoroughly and publicly. Any 
infractions found to be committed by the United States must be condemned in 
the strongest terms, and if found guilty of such infractions, the United 
States must be sanctioned. These sanctions must be, at a minimum, equivalent 
to those applied by the IWC to states that do not pay their subscriptions to 
the IWC on time, i.e.: "The sanctions of withholding Commission documents and 
the suspension of the right to vote for a Government more than three months 
in arrears with its annual payments contained from previous years... [IWC, 
1993 etc.]

The agreement made between the United States and the Makah Indian Tribe 

'The total number of gray whales struck by members shall not exceed ten (10) 
in 1998, nine (9) in 1999, eight (8) in 2000, and seven (7) in 2001 and 2002, 
provided that the Council will take prudent management measures to reduce the 
ratio of struck whales to landed whales in any one calendar year to no more 
than 2:1.'

'Strike' means any blow delivered to a whale by a harpoon, lance, rifle, 
explosive device or other weapon which results or is likely to result in 
death or serious bodily harm to the whale. When used as a verb, 'strike' 
means the act of delivering such a blow to a whale.'

QUESTION: Are the number of 'strikes' at Gray whales by the Makah being 
adequately monitored? What is the current number used to date? How many 
'strikes' do the Makah have left for 1999?

'No member may strike a gray whale calf or a female gray whale accompanied by 
a calf or calves.'

QUESTION: The whale struck by the Makah on Saturday 15th. May, 1999 was a 
female accompanied by a calf. Has the IWC recorded this as an infraction 
against the United States? What action is the United States taking against 
the Makah for this well documented violation? What action is the IWC taking 
against the United States for this violation?

'A whaling permit shall expire when any one of the following events occurs: 
(1) the whaling team lands a gray whale; (2) the whaling team strikes a gray 
whale but is unable to land it; (3) the whaling team returns to port after a 
whaling expedition in which no gray whales have been struck; (4) the whaling 
team fails to initiate a whaling expedition within 72 hours after permit 
issuance; or (5) the Council determines, for any reason, to terminate the 

QUESTION: After the abortive attempts by the Makah to kill a female Gray 
whale on Saturday 15th. May, 1999, was the Makah whaling permit revoked under 
(2)? If the United States fulfilled its commitment under this section, this 
would mean the Gray whale killed by the Makah on the 17th. of May, 1999 was 
taken illegally. What action is the United States taking against the Makah 
for whaling without a permit? If the US did not, what action is the IWC 
taking against the US for this violation of not revoking the permit?

Also, the Makah stayed out at sea to look for another whale to hunt after 
they had harpooned the female whale on Saturday 15th. May, 1999. This must 
constitute illegal attempts to harass and kill whales (again under (2), the 
permit having expired after failure to land the whale), punishable under the 
US/ Makah agreement (members convicted of said offence may also be barred 
from exercising treaty fishing, hunting and/or whaling rights for up to three 
(3) years) and United States laws, and must be condemned by the IWC. What 
action is the IWC taking against the US for this violation?

Breach Marine Protection considers the above to be just a few of the 
violations of this so-called 'contract' made between the United States and 
the Makah, which we believe to be an illegal contract in any case. The United 
States Government has shown unprecedented contempt for its domestic legal 
process by facilitating Makah whaling before its own justice system has 
concluded its judgement on the matter. 

The International Whaling Commissioners MUST now rights the wrongs it has 
done to the California Gray whales at its 1997 Monaco meeting, and the 
world-wide Cetacean slaughter precedent it set, by: 

a) placing the Makah whaling issue on its agenda at Granada in isolation.
b) the Commissioners taking a clear, public, open and pressure free vote 
purely on the US/ Makah whaling proposal.
c) now that Gray whales have been killed by the Makah before the IWC meeting, 
the IWC must hold the US Government fully responsible for undermining the IWC 
- an international Convention - and the international community, and use any 
redress open to the Commissioners under International Law and by applying 
sanctions against the United States of America.

d) replacing the Secretary of the International Whaling Commission with 
someone who can interpret the true wishes of the IWC.

We look forward to your reply.

 David Smith
 Breach Marine Protection, Int.
 Tel/Fax: +44 1405 769375

 Breach Marine Protection, US
 e-mail: USA
 PO Box 532
 Woodbury, CT 06798 

Note:  Breach Marine Protection, AFA and other plaintiffs brought a lawsuit 
(Metcalf v Daley) against three named defendants, all officials of the US 
Government agencies NMFS/ NOAA, to test the legality of their authorisation 
of Makah whaling in 1997. The case was lost in a court in Tacoma, Washington 
State, in 1998. This decision to find for the defendants is now under appeal 
to the 9th. Appeals Court. BMP and others allege that by authorising the 
Makah to slaughter Gray whales, these US officials violated the US NEPA, WCA 
and Marine Sanctuary Acts, and International Law. The Appeals Court has also 
been asked to deal with the withholding of pertinent documents by these 
agencies to both the plaintiffs and the Tacoma Court. BMP expects a hearing 
date for this appeal in the very near future. 

 Popular (Peoples) Resolution on Abolition of Inhumane
 Commercial Slaughter of Whales - World-Wide Sign-On Petition:

***** ACTION! *****

Please inundate the IWC with these demands.  Tell them their 'official' 
statements are untrue, no more than a blatant attempt to justify their 
appeasement of the United States.

Please contact them at:
Attn: Raymond Gambell and Martin Harvey
Tel: Grenada + (473) 444 1382
Fax: Grenada + (473) 444 1389

Please insist that your messages are made known to ALL IWC Commissioners. 

Please re-post to your list/ friends/ family.

Breach Marine Protection wishes to maintain an ACTIVE mail list, producing 
useful information for cetacean minded people who are willing to involve 
themselves, in whatever capacity, in issues affecting whales, dolphins, other 
marine mammals and the oceans of the world. We do not wish to maintain a 
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you have no interest in receiving our mail-outs, or you wish to be removed 
from our list for whatever reason, please email us and let us know.