ACTION ALERT! THE WHALES NEED YOUR VOICE!!
- ~ PLEASE CROSSPOST WIDELY ~
IT'S CRUCIAL TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD ON BEHALF OF THE WHALES!!
Fri. May 9, 2008
~ NOAA TAKING PUBLIC COMMENTS ON MORE MAKAH WHALING ~
The National Marine Fisheries Service has released a draft of the impact statement for the Makah Tribe's request to hunt gray whales. The agency plans public hearings in Port Angeles, Seattle and Silver Springs, Md., to gather public comment. In a Friday statement, the agency says if it decides to authorize the hunting several more steps would have to be completed before it issues a permit. The draft statement discusses a harvest of up to 20 whales in a five-year period with restrictions on the timing and locations in the Strait of Juan de Fuca (FEW'-kuh) near the reservation at Neah Bay. The tribe has a treaty right to whaling and killed its first whale in 70 years in 1999. But the Makah did not have permission for the whale killed in September by five tribal members.
NOAA WEBPAGE / PUBLIC COMMENT EMAIL LINK: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Marine-Mammals/Whales-Dolphins-Porpoise/Gray-Whales/Makah-DEIS-info.cfm
DEADLINE FOR YOUR COMMENTS: 5 p.m. (PDT) on July 8, 2008
EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS: MakahDEIS.nwr@...
[If blocked use the link above]
~ U.S. taxpayers subsidize the Gray whale 'hunt'---not the Makah; as such, U.S. citizens should have the final say in the whaling debate. Over 5 million dollars has been spent to date on whaling, with the Makah continuing to petition their 'favorite' Congressional contacts for more funds. Their latest request? A ship which would cost taxpayers ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
~ CONGRESSIONAL BRIBES PROMPT CONTINUED MAKAH SUPPORT. Former California Republican Representative Richard Pombo received $221,000 + from tribes. In return, he pushed through a resolution which calls the waiver process required by the National Marine Fisheries Service "burdensome, costly and tantamount to a denial of the [Makah] tribe's treaty rights." The resolution went on to urge Congress to express "its disapproval of the abrogation of the tribe's treaty rights, and that the government of the United States should uphold the treaty rights of the Makah Tribe." Pombo ranked third among all House members in terms of tribal donations.
~ The Makah have been REFUSED PERMISSION TO WHALE by the International Whaling Commission. They were denied because they do not fit the criteria for either 'cultural' or 'subsistence' whaling. The Makah circumvented the IWC's denial by using the political clout of then head of NOAA, D. James Baker, who brokered a back-room deal with the Russians which allowed the Makah to take a portion of the Russian Gray whale subsistence quota. The IWC, to this day, has NEVER given permission to the Makah to whale...IWC guidelines supercede Makah treaty whaling rights.
~ As a signatory of the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on whaling, the U.S. is breaking its own anti-whaling agreement and international law by allowing the Makah to continue whaling.
~ Gray whales were removed from the Endangered Species List due to the political wrangling of the Makah--NOT VALID SCIENTIFIC STUDIES. Scientists, who believe Gray whale populations are at an historical all-time low, have observed decreasing numbers each year and have serious concerns about their health. Large numbers of gray whales have recently been discovered suffering from starvation. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-09/s-gwa090407.php
~ Several elders within the Makah tribe are AGAINST whaling and in favor of WHALE WATCHING to bring income into Makah coffers. Their voices should be heard. This is their appeal:
The whale hunt issue has never been brought to the [Makah] people to inform them,
and there is no spiritual training going on. We believe they, the [Makah]
Council, will just shoot the whale, and we think the word "subsistence"
is the wrong thing to say when our people haven't used or had whale
meat/blubber since the early 1900's.
For these reasons we believe the hunt is only for the money. They can't
say "Traditional, Spiritual and for Subsistence" in the same breath when
no training is going on, just talk.
Whale watching is an alternative we support:
* Isabell Ides. Age 96
* Harry Claplonhoo. Age 78
* Margaret Irving. Age 80
* Ruth Claplanhoo. Age 94
* Viola Johnson. Age 88
* Alberta N Thompson. Age 72
* Lena McGee. Age 92.
~ The Makah Treaty of 1855; [specifically Article 4, which allows the tribe to whale], is a 152 year old document; one which pre-dates the AMERICAN CIVIL WAR BY 6 YEARS, and is therefore no longer relevant in a world where cetaceans now face overwhelming threats to their survival due to global warming, overfishing, ship strikes, sonar disturbances, pollution and disease. Slow reproductive rates and an unacceptably prolonged and cruel manner of slaughter dictate that cetaceans should be spared whaling in ANY form.
~ Makah cousins, members of the Maa-nulth First Nations, who reside on the Western shores of Vancouver Island have signed an agreement with the Canadian government in which they will honor a 25 year moratorium of their whaling rights. In return, they were given generous concessions of land and cash. If the Makah are genuinely interested in "honoring" whales, they must be committed to allowing them to live in peace and safety; while helping improve the quality of life for ALL Makah--not just the privileged few who never allow the majority a voice. The entire Makah tribe should be given a vote on what types of concessions they would want in lieu of forfeiting whaling.
EMAIL YOUR COMMENTS: MakahDEIS.nwr@...
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