Heal Our Planet Earth

International approval lacking for whale hunt now under way

Times Colonist (Victoria) Tue 25 Apr 2000
by Anthony Marr 

Contrary to popular belief, the Makah do not have the approval of
the International Whaling Commission to hunt grey whales, and
therefore their whale hunt is illegal.

In 1998, Dr. Ray Gambell, secretary of the International Whaling
Commission, said, ``The IWC has specifically not passed a judgment
on recognizing or otherwise the claim by the Makah Tribe, since
the member nations were clearly unable to agree.''

The Australian delegation said, ``The Australian delegation made
it clear that it accepted the Chukotka Natives' request and claim
that they clearly met the requirements ... whereas the request and
claim of the Makah people did not. This view was endorsed
explicitly by a clear majority of the delegations. After a lapse
of some 71 years of whale hunting by the Makah ... the
requirements of the amendment are not met, nor have they been met
on cultural grounds.''

And on the United States' claim that the commission has adopted a
quota that allows a five year aboriginal subsistence hunt by the
Makah, ``The Australian delegation explicitly rejects these claims
as false and giving an entirely erroneous interpretation.''

To qualify for subsistence whaling, continuance is a crucial
factor, which Makah whaling clearly does not have. The IWC has not
changed its position.

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