May 29, 2007

Eskimos can continue whaling

Whaling a 'Necessity' to Eskimos, Senator SaysA U.S. senator urged delegates of the International Whaling Commission to renew a five-year subsistence whaling quota for Alaska Native communities, calling it crucial to their society.

"It is more than a right--it is an absolute necessity which affects every facet of their well-being," Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said Monday at the opening of the 76-nation commission's four-day meeting. "To deny this history would jeopardize their way of life."

Harvesting whales is considered a sacred accomplishment by many of an estimated 5,000 Eskimos who rely heavily on the meat to fill their tables. Ceremonial dances are held to bless the hunts, and successful harvests prompt village celebrations at which the meat is cut up and distributed.
Eskimo whalers win 5-year huntThe ballroom at the Hotel Captain Cook broke out in applause this morning and Eskimo whalers shook hands after they won the right from the International Whaling Commission to subsistence hunt for another five years.

Despite concerns some countries would block the request to take 51 bowheads a year from 2008 to 2012, the proposal passed by consensus after commissioners from several countries voiced support.

No comments: