Saturday, September 15, 2007

Whale Watching Charter

Whale Watching Charter

Photo & Text Copyright 2007 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

Heading toward the San Juans, this small company takes folks into areas frequented by Orca whales. There are three pods that summer in Puget Sound.



You may have heard the sad news this week of members of the Makah tribe of Neah Bay, without tribal permission and against the law, shooting and harpooning a California Gray whale up in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. California Grays, unlike the Orcas, are no longer on the Endangered Species list. Grays are covered under the Marine Mammals Protection Act, however. The whale attempted to head out to sea afterward and survived for a number of painful hours before going under, never to surface again. The tribe had legally hunted a whale a few years ago. At that time they used all parts of it and were attempting to reestablish ancient tribal practices abandoned over 70 years ago. The tribe was in a long process of negotiating permanent limited whaling rights with the United States in light of the Marine Mammals Protection Act. Apparently, impatient members acted without knowledge of tribal leadership. Some members of congress speaking to the news speculated that this may jeopardize the tribe's future whaling rights as a result.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

At that time they used all parts of it and were attempting to reestablish ancient tribal practices abandoned over 70 years ago due to the effects of American expansion and denial of native cultural practices. <<

The Makah Tribe did not abandon their right to whale due to the effects of American expansion and denial of native cultural practices.

They stopped due to the white commercial Whale hunters almost wiping out the species. The Makah waited for the species to come back into great numbers, than when they were taken off the endangered species list they requested for their right to hunt whale again.

I am also curious on how you know they will lose their whaling rights? There has been no decision on that. I think the Government should stick to the Treaties written long ago that is also in our constition.If they don't than give back the land they recieved through that treatie.

Zsolt said...

i never heard about this story with Makah tribe and whales but I think if the whales are endangered it doesnt matter how old tradition it is, they have to stop hunting them. Every contract can be changed..but no species can be taken back if once disappeared.

Kim said...

Anon, thanks for the info, text corrected to reflect it.

Zsolt, The Gray Whale is no longer on the Endangered Species List, however it is a protected marine mammal under another act.

Thanks much for your comments,
-Kim