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Tribes Take a Big Step to Resume Whaling Off Washington | Nationwide

Seattle (AP) — Administrative Law Judges have recommended that Native American tribes in Washington be allowed to hunt gray whales again. This is a major step in decades of efforts to resume ancient customs.

“This is a testament to what we have said in the last few years. We are doing everything we can to show that we are moving forward responsibly,” said Makah Vice President. Patrick Depot said the Olympic Peninsula was on Friday. “We do not do this for commercial reasons. We do it for spiritual and cultural reasons.”

Depot attended high school in the late 1990s when Maka was last allowed to hunt whales. Angry protests from animal rights activists have thrown smoke grenades at whalers and sprayed fire extinguishers on their faces.

Since then, tribal attempts have been bound by legal objections and scientific reviews. The Federal Court of Appeals ruled in 2002 that the Makah need an exemption under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The tribe applied in 2005 but has not yet received it.

About two years after presiding over a hearing on NOAA Fisheries’ proposal to approve the exemption, Administrative Law Judge George Jordan issued a 156-page recommendation to the U.S. Department of Commerce, affecting tribal hunting. I decided that it wasn’t. A healthy overall population of whales.

The recommendations, along with a public comment period and further environmental analysis, do not set a timeline for it, but inform the department’s final decision.

As proposed, this exemption allows tribes to land up to 20 gray whales in the eastern North Pacific over a 10-year period.

Jordan decided that issuing an exemption was appropriate, but also recommended additional restrictions that could significantly reduce the number of whales killed by the tribe. You will probably have five whales with a 10-year exemption period. DePoe said the tribe was considering the recommendation, but called it a potential source of frustration and further debate.

The tribes want to use whales for food and make handicrafts, artwork, and tools that they can sell.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Animal Welfare Institute oppose hunting. They may have inadequate NOAA environmental reviews, the Marine Mammal Protection Act may have revoked the rights of the tribe’s treaty, and the tribe cannot claim survival or cultural need for hunting decades later. Insisted.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said in an email Friday that it was considering the decision and had no immediate comment. The Animal Welfare Institute did not respond to emails asking for comment.

Evidence submitted to the government shows that the Makah, now with about 1,500 members, have been hunting whales for over 2,700 years. The tribe’s 1855 Treaty with the United States reserved “the right to whaling fish and whaling or sealing it in the usual familiar places.”

The Makah continued whaling until the 1920s and abandoned whaling because commercial whaling destroyed the gray whale population. Whale populations had recovered in the East Pacific by 1994 and are now estimated at 27,000 and have been removed from the list of endangered species.

The Makah were trained in ancient whaling methods for months and were blessed by federal authorities and the International Whaling Commission. They flew into the water in 1998, but were unsuccessful the following year until they caught a gray whale from a hand-carved cedar canoe with a harpoon. A tribal member of the electric support boat killed it with a powerful rifle to minimize its suffering.

The depot greeted the whalers returning in a canoe as they were towing the whales, and the high school shop class cleaned the bones and reassembled the skeletons hanging in the tribal museum.

“The connection between us and the whale is strong,” he said. “The northwestern tribes have always regarded themselves as land and animal caretakers. We are not doing anything to help deplete these resources. Hmm.”

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Tribes Take a Big Step to Resume Whaling Off Washington | Nationwide

Source link Tribes Take a Big Step to Resume Whaling Off Washington | Nationwide

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