Thursday, May 22, 2008

Makah whale hunt proposal under consideration

Public comments will be accepted until July 8, 2008.

The National Marine Fisheries Service conducted the study of the possible
impacts of Makah resuming gray whale hunts, in response to the nation's
request for a waiver of the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is
accepting public comment on the study until July 8.

NMFS developed alternatives to consider based on Makah's proposal and on
comments submitted at public hearings in 2005. One of the alternatives is
to take no action on Makah's request - essentially, to deny it. But
"divorcing" the Makahs from whaling would erode cultural identity and
increase tensions "between [the] Makah Tribe and others, including [the]
federal government," the study states.

In allowing the Makahs to hunt in the manner they propose, "Makah
whale-hunting rituals, spiritual training, songs, dances and ceremonial
activities could increase over current conditions, and regularly recur,
reinforcing Makah cultural identity," the study states.

Read more about the proposed gray whale hunt

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