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Update on the hunt

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  • Dian Hardy
    ===== A message from the makahwhaling discussion list ===== FROM WASHINGTON CITIZENS COASTAL ALLIANCE ... UPDATE ON WHAT S GOING ON... Not a DOGGONE thing
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2001
      ===== A message from the 'makahwhaling' discussion list =====



      Not a DOGGONE thing happening, which is a far sight better than we could say
      this time last year... At last word, NMFS is still working through your
      comment letters on the Environmental Assessment. Repeat: Call your
      congressional rep and remind them to "keep an eye" on this situation...

      Also: NMFS' parent agency (NOAA) just recently submitted their $3.1 billion
      (yes, billion) budget to Congress, and we are searching high and low for
      those hidden line items that might authorize future whaling here in
      Washington state. We're at $5 million and counting right now for the costs
      of the Makah whaling program, but don't put away those ten-key calculators

      NOAA made a definite point of including Makah whaling in last year's budget.
      Amazingly, they tucked it into a $278 million program "to reduce the
      probability of extinction for protected species; and maintain healthy
      species and ecosystems."

      Our jawdropper of last year's budget? "Supporting sustainable communities
      that conserve and recover protected species through Native American
      co-management of marine mammals by Alaska natives and Makah tribe."

      WE are investigating, but we can't figure is why the media isn't doing the


      Our sources tell us that the gray whale census "needs to see 124 more
      northbound whales to equal the lowest number of northbound whales (792) seen
      since the 1991/92 season, and time is running out..."

      Not a single newspaper is reporting on this. Not a single TeeVee station.
      And you can count out the likes of Paul Shukovsky of the Seattle-PI, who has
      been spending a lot of time around Neah Bay lately, but for the wrong

      SEASON TO DATE (25 Apr 01)

      Southbound ----- 438
      Northbound ----- 668
      Total -------------- 1106
      Calves South ---- 11
      Calves North ---- 10


      Letters are needed to support a petition filed by The Fund for Animals
      and Australians for Animals to list the Eastern North Pacific population
      of gray whales under the Endangered Species Act. The threats facing
      this whale population and their habitat include global warming, hunting
      by indigenous groups such as the Makah tribe in northwest Washington,
      oil and gas exploration and extraction activities, and contamination of
      gray whale food supplies. An action alert and sample email letter are
      available at:



      Coming soon! The REAL truth behind the U.S. Coast Guard's proposal to close
      the LaPush station, while the Neah Bay station remains "untouchable"....

      For those of you far from this story, the Coast Guard is proposing to shut
      down a vital station a few dozen miles south of Neah Bay for budgetary
      reasons, and the locals are furious.

      As Walter Jackson, the general manager of the Quileute Tribe, asked this
      week; "Why does the Coast Guard propose to defend the Makah in their whale
      hunts and desert the Quileute in their efforts to protect the marine
      environment and maintain their fishing way of life?

      Good question, Walter, and here's another one: Has anyone asked why they
      don't close the Neah Bay station and leave LaPush open?

      (The Peninsula Daily News refused to publish it)

      March 26, 2001


      John Brewer
      Letters to the Editor
      Peninsula Daily News
      Port Angeles, WA.

      Dear Mr. Brewer:

      The throngs that recently watched the gray whales frolicking in the San
      Francisco South Bay reveals the great fascination these intelligent and
      friendly leviathans have for humans. Their highly organized social
      systems and communication skills are being studied by scientists.

      In the Pacific lagoons off Baja California, sightseers pay to stroke whale
      calves who nuzzle up to the boats while the mothers hover protectively
      nearby. No one has fully explained why these playful young gray whales seek
      out human contact, but one tourist who stroked a whale says it is "one of
      the world's remarkable inter-species encounters ...once you've done this
      you're changed forever--your life is divided into the time before you
      touched a whale and the time after you touched a whale."

      What a travesty that our government recently spent some $5 million of our
      tax dollars to help the Washington state Makah Indian tribe reestablish
      their whale killing tradition by harpooning a trusting young female whale
      nuzzling their boat-- expecting to have her back stroked? After ten
      struggling, agonizing minutes in the blood stained waters, she finally died.

      We urge readers who would rather stroke than harpoon a whale, write and tell
      your legislators and Pres. Bush to reflect on the words of Dr. Albert
      Schweitzer, "The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how
      deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo."

      Tell your legislators you want your tax dollars, now spent to kill whales,
      used to help the Makah substitute their cruel outdated whale killing
      tradition for a tradition of compassionate (and profitable) whale stroking
      That would improve both the financial and spiritual development of troubled
      Makah youth.

      S M. Bancroft
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