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Makah whale hunt update

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  • Dian Hardy
    ===== A message from the makahwhaling discussion list ===== FROM WASHINGTON CITIZENS COASTAL ALLIANCE ... MAKAH FREE TO RESUME THEIR WHALE HUNT Fewer
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2001
      ===== A message from the 'makahwhaling' discussion list =====

      FROM WASHINGTON CITIZENS' COASTAL ALLIANCE
      ----------------------------------


      MAKAH FREE TO RESUME THEIR WHALE HUNT
      Fewer restrictions mean they won't have to venture into dangerous seas
      ----------------------------------

      By Paul Shukovsky
      Seattle Post-Intelligencer
      Thursday, November 29, 2001

      The Makah Tribe will be free next week to resume its ancient whale hunt with
      fewer restrictions on where they can take a whale, and none on when.

      It means the hunt will be much safer for the eight-man crews who paddle a
      hand-hewn, dugout canoe in search of their prey. But it's unlikely the
      hunters will venture onto dangerous winter waters to take a whale.

      Under the old regulations, reached in an agreement between the tribe and the
      National Marine Fisheries Service, the hunt was restricted to times when the
      gray whale herd migrated past the reservation on the remote northwest tip of
      the continental United States.

      The migrations, especially during the southward trek in the late fall and
      early winter, are hazardous times to put a canoe on the open water of the
      Pacific Ocean.

      But under the new regulations, tribal members can hunt any time they want.
      And the new management agreement allows the hunters to stalk a whale in the
      protected waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

      Makah Tribal Council Vice Chairman Gordon Smith pronounced the tribe
      "satisfied" with the revised agreement. "There is a lot more leeway as to
      when and where they (the hunters) can go. It's basically going to be a lot
      safer because they can go when the weather is better."

      Ironically, the liberalized hunting terms were the result of a failed
      lawsuit by anti-whaling activists. The hunt was suspended in the fall of
      2000 after a federal court ruled that a 1997 environmental assessment should
      have been completed before NMFS and the tribe signed the first management
      agreement.

      A new environmental assessment was completed in July and reached the
      conclusion that more liberal rules for the hunt would not have a negative
      impact on the environment.

      NMFS spokesman Brian Gorman said the hunt can resume as soon as the agency
      publishes a notice in the Federal Register sometime next week reinstating
      the tribe's quota of gray whales that was granted to the United States by
      the International Whaling Commission. The tribe is allowed to kill five
      whales a year through the end of next year, at which time the IWC quota
      expires. So far, the tribe has killed just one whale, that in May 1999.

      Gorman said NMFS plans to seek a new quota of whales for the Makah for 2003
      to 2007 at an IWC global meeting in May. Details of that quota request will
      emerge from a new environmental assessment that will be completed in time
      for the May meeting.

      The new regulations retained prior provisions calling for a humane kill with
      a high-powered rifle and the presence of a NMFS observer. A safety officer
      will also accompany the hunters.
      *****



      GREIG ARNOLD BOUNCED FROM TRIBAL ELECTIONS
      Bender Johnson, Jr. makes his return?
      ------------------------------------

      Recent nominations for the two open Makah Tribal Council positions left
      current chairman Greig Arnold red-faced and disappointed. The election, to
      be held the last week of December, will feature Chad Bowechop battling Joy
      Cook for the first position: each had 42 votes to Arnold's 40. Witnesses
      state that Arnold turned "several shades of red" when he realized he had not
      received enough votes to make the ballot.

      The second race features a familiar name: Bender Johnson, Jr., who somehow
      managed to claim enough votes to face Debbie Wachendorf for the seat she
      currently holds on the council. Wachendorf managed 35 votes, while Bender
      Johnson garnered 38.

      It's impossible to say that any of these candidates are "moderate" on the
      whaling issue, but we await the outcome of the election with interest!
      *****

      ===== A message from the 'makahwhaling' discussion list =====

      FROM WASHINGTON CITIZENS' COASTAL ALLIANCE
      ----------------------------------


      MAKAH FREE TO RESUME THEIR WHALE HUNT
      Fewer restrictions mean they won't have to venture into dangerous seas
      ----------------------------------

      By Paul Shukovsky
      Seattle Post-Intelligencer
      Thursday, November 29, 2001

      The Makah Tribe will be free next week to resume its ancient whale hunt with
      fewer restrictions on where they can take a whale, and none on when.

      It means the hunt will be much safer for the eight-man crews who paddle a
      hand-hewn, dugout canoe in search of their prey. But it's unlikely the
      hunters will venture onto dangerous winter waters to take a whale.

      Under the old regulations, reached in an agreement between the tribe and the
      National Marine Fisheries Service, the hunt was restricted to times when the
      gray whale herd migrated past the reservation on the remote northwest tip of
      the continental United States.

      The migrations, especially during the southward trek in the late fall and
      early winter, are hazardous times to put a canoe on the open water of the
      Pacific Ocean.

      But under the new regulations, tribal members can hunt any time they want.
      And the new management agreement allows the hunters to stalk a whale in the
      protected waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

      Makah Tribal Council Vice Chairman Gordon Smith pronounced the tribe
      "satisfied" with the revised agreement. "There is a lot more leeway as to
      when and where they (the hunters) can go. It's basically going to be a lot
      safer because they can go when the weather is better."

      Ironically, the liberalized hunting terms were the result of a failed
      lawsuit by anti-whaling activists. The hunt was suspended in the fall of
      2000 after a federal court ruled that a 1997 environmental assessment should
      have been completed before NMFS and the tribe signed the first management
      agreement.

      A new environmental assessment was completed in July and reached the
      conclusion that more liberal rules for the hunt would not have a negative
      impact on the environment.

      NMFS spokesman Brian Gorman said the hunt can resume as soon as the agency
      publishes a notice in the Federal Register sometime next week reinstating
      the tribe's quota of gray whales that was granted to the United States by
      the International Whaling Commission. The tribe is allowed to kill five
      whales a year through the end of next year, at which time the IWC quota
      expires. So far, the tribe has killed just one whale, that in May 1999.

      Gorman said NMFS plans to seek a new quota of whales for the Makah for 2003
      to 2007 at an IWC global meeting in May. Details of that quota request will
      emerge from a new environmental assessment that will be completed in time
      for the May meeting.

      The new regulations retained prior provisions calling for a humane kill with
      a high-powered rifle and the presence of a NMFS observer. A safety officer
      will also accompany the hunters.
      *****



      GREIG ARNOLD BOUNCED FROM TRIBAL ELECTIONS
      Bender Johnson, Jr. makes his return?
      ------------------------------------

      Recent nominations for the two open Makah Tribal Council positions left
      current chairman Greig Arnold red-faced and disappointed. The election, to
      be held the last week of December, will feature Chad Bowechop battling Joy
      Cook for the first position: each had 42 votes to Arnold's 40. Witnesses
      state that Arnold turned "several shades of red" when he realized he had not
      received enough votes to make the ballot.

      The second race features a familiar name: Bender Johnson, Jr., who somehow
      managed to claim enough votes to face Debbie Wachendorf for the seat she
      currently holds on the council. Wachendorf managed 35 votes, while Bender
      Johnson garnered 38.

      It's impossible to say that any of these candidates are "moderate" on the
      whaling issue, but we await the outcome of the election with interest!
      *****
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