Update on the hunt
- ===== A message from the 'makahwhaling' discussion list =====
FROM WASHINGTON CITIZENS' COASTAL ALLIANCE
UPDATE ON WHAT'S GOING ON...
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
GRAY WHALE NUMBERS DOWN, DOWN, DOWN...
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
YOUR HELP NEEDED!
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
UP NEXT: COAST GUARD SHAFTS LOCALS AGAIN...
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?
LETTER OF THE WEEK
(The Peninsula Daily News refused to publish it)
March 26, 2001
HUMANE EDUCATION NETWORK
MENLO PARK, CA
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
S M. Bancroft