Subject: IWC: US INDIANS' PLEA TO KILL WHALE (fwd)

Michael Williamson (pita@whale.simmons.edu)
Fri, 28 Jun 1996 14:34:30 -0400 (EDT)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 96 11:41:00 UTC 0000
From: r.mallon1@genie.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: US INDIANS' PLEA TO KILL WHALE

US INDIANS' PLEA TO KILL WHALES SPLITS IWC

  By Steve Smith, PA News
   Further talks were today ordered after International Whaling Commission
members disagreed over a request from a tribe of American Indians for
permission to kill five whales a year in an attempt to rebuild their lost
culture.
   At the IWC meeting in Aberdeen the US delegation put forward the proposals
on
behalf of the Makah tribe of North West Washington State.
   In their request to kill five grey whales a year from 1997 until 2000 the
Makahs said they would use the mammals for ceremonial and subsistence purposes
only.
   US delegates told the conference the Makahs had a history of subsistence
whaling stretching back 1,500 years and they wished to now continue with their
centuries-old culture.
   Under its Aboriginal subsistence policy the IWC can vote to grant indigenous
tribes the right to catch small numbers of wales for non-commercial use only,
such as for food and rituals.
   In an emotional speech to delegatesMakah tribal member Marcy Parker said:
"Wales provide us with food for our bodies, bones for our tools and implements
and spirits for our souls.
   "We haven't hunted the whale for 70 years but have hunted them in our hearts
and in our minds."
   Appealing to member nations to support their request she added: "Whales are
a
central focus of our culture today as they have been from the beginning of
time."
   Despite reassurances from the US delegation that whalemeat would not be sold
commercially by the Makahs the conference was split in its support, with a
number of nations raising concerns over the subsistence need of the tribe.
   IWC conference chairman Peter Bridgewater asked delegates with concerns to
discuss their points with the US in a bid to clear up difficulties, before a
vote is expected to be taken later in the week.
   The IWC, which meets in Aberdeen until Friday, was set up in 1946 to govern
conservation of whale stocks and control the development of the whaling
industry.
  Items set for debate during the conference will include a bid by the British
delegation to ban electric lances used by Japanese whalers to kill already
harpooned whales.
   Delegates will also examine international whaling laws, research programmes
and will assess whale stocks throughout the world.