Subject: Info: House committee protests U.S. (fwd)

Michael Williamson (pita@whale.simmons.edu)
Fri, 28 Jun 1996 14:37:42 -0400 (EDT)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 96 11:38:00 UTC 0000
From: r.mallon1@genie.com
To: marmam@uvvm.uvic.ca, pita@whale.simmons.edu
Subject: House committee protests U.S.

House committee protests U.S. gray whale hunt plan

    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The House Resources Committee
Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution opposing a U.S. plan
to allow the Makah Indians to hunt five gray whales a year.
     The plan would allow the north Washington state Makah to
hunt under an international whaling ban waiver that permits
hunts by aboriginal groups who have traditionally killed whales.
     The Clinton administration is seeking approval of its
proposal this week in Scotland at an International Whaling
Commission meeting, which is sharply divided on the issue.
     Environmentalists say the proposal should be rejected
because the Makahs have not hunted whales for 70 years and do
not need the meat for food, but instead to revive an old
cultural practice.
     "The Makah assertion of purely cultural needs is not
adequate to justify acceptance of the proposal and raises
questions that merit considerable review," World Wildlife Fund
said in a statement Wednesday.
While Congress would be hard-pressed to overturn the Makah
plan if the IWC approved it, the Resources Committee wanted to
"send a message to the commission and to our own delegation,"
said Democratic staff director, John Lawrence.
     "We felt it was highly inappropriate for the administration
to go off to an internationl conference to propose this kind of
policy without consulting us," he said.
     "This was an endangered species just two years ago," said
Rep. George Miller, the top Democrat on the committee, warning
that the proposal could undermine international efforts to
protect whales, especially in Japan.