May 18, 2008

Makah proposal is low-impact

Makah whale-hunting proposal rated 'least impact' in study

Public comments accepted until July 8The Makah Indian Nation's proposal to hunt gray whales has fewer negative impacts than five of six alternatives considered in a draft federal study released May 9.

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.
The specifics of the proposal:* Makah proposes to hunt gray whales using a hand-thrown, toggle-point harpoon to strike the whale and a .50-caliber rifle to kill the whale; time of death is about eight minutes, but that time is expected to improve as hunters gain additional experience.

* The nation's regulations would prohibit the striking of a whale calf or a whale accompanied by a calf, and would prohibit the hunting of a gray whale between June 1 and Nov. 30 to prevent the hunting of whales that may be part of a seasonal resident gray whale herd.

* Makah's regulations would provide for detailed photographic monitoring of all landed whales, for comparison with photos in the National Marine Mammal Laboratory's photo-identification catalog of the seasonal resident herds.

* Whale "products" would be restricted to local consumption and ceremonies.
Comment:  Eight minutes would be significantly better than the previous time of death, which was about 10 hours.

For more on the subject, see The Makah Whale-Hunt Controversy.


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
And what is the length of time for death for any of the thousands of whales of many species taken by unregulated Japanese whaling fleets? Or is anyone at all interested in watching that particular clock?
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

If this blog existed to cover the intersection of Japan and popular culture, I'd report on the ugly and immoral Japanese whaling. Since it doesn't exist for that purpose, I won't.