January 14, 2008

Makah plan to resume whaling

Makah hopeful about whaling again by 2010The new leader of the Makah Tribe said he is "cautiously optimistic" that the tribe will win federal approval to resume hunting gray whales next year or early 2010.

Micah McCarty, who assumed the senior tribal post earlier this month, said the tribe is committed to seeking federal approval to hunt whales.

But McCarty, 37, added that some tribal members are increasingly frustrated by the lengthy legal process--tribal whale hunts have been held up by court challenges since 2000--and the possibility that environmental groups or animal rights organizations could take new steps to further delay federal approval.

"The system has been abused to deprive us of our treaty rights," said McCarty, referring to an 1855 Makah treaty with the U.S. government that allows the tribe to hunt whales. The tribe views whaling as central to its history and culture, according to its Web site (makah.com); the tribe says it has whaled for more than 1,500 years.
Comment:  For a roundup of recent stories, see The Makah Whale-Hunt Controversy.

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