Judge reduces charges in Makah whaling case

A federal judge reduced charges against five members of the Makah Nation of Washington who took part in an unauthorized whale hunt.

Judge J. Kelley Arnold said the men couldn't be prosecuted under the Whaling Convention Act. He left intact charges under the Marine Mammals Protection Act.

The tribe has a right under its 1855 treaty to hunt whales. But the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the MMPA restricts the tribe's rights.

The tribe is seeking a permit under the MMPA but the process has taken several years. The five hunters took the waters and killed a whale last fall out of a sense of frustration.

The hunters also face charges in tribal court.

Get the Story:
Part of case against Makah whale killers tossed (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 2/20)
Judge dismisses 1 charge against Makah whalers (The Seattle Times 2/20)
Magistrate slices charges from federal whaling case (The Peninsula Daily News 2/20)
New chief judge assumes bench on Makah Tribal Court (The Peninsula Daily News 2/20)

Relevant Documents:
Tribal Council Statement | Makah Tribal Whale Hunt | Marine Mammal Protection Act

Court Decisions:
Anderson v. Evans (June 7, 2004) | Anderson v. Evans (December 20, 2002)

Relevant Links:
Makah Nation - http://www.makah.com

Related Stories:
Federal court delays trial for unauthorized whalers (01/25)
Opinion: Makah Nation shouldn't hunt whales (1/22)
Makah Nation delays trial for unauthorized hunt (1/21)
Makah chairman confident of tribe's return to whaling (1/14)
Makah whalers plead not guilty for illegal hunt (12/12)
Makah Nation charges five for unauthorized hunt (11/27)
Rogue Makah whalers seek delay in federal trial (11/12)
Editorial: Makah hunters to pay price for illegal hunt (10/8)
Rogue Makah hunters indicted on federal charges (10/5)
Opinion: Makah Nation has treaty right to hunt (10/5)
Federal probe into Makah whale hunt ongoing (09/18)
Editorial: Makah Nation must punish rogue hunters (9/14)
Letters: Readers discuss illegal Makah whale hunt (9/14)
Makah leaders hopeful after Washington meetings (9/13)
Column: Makah Nation shouldn't hunt whales (9/13)
Makah Nation hires former Slade Gorton aide (9/12)
Editorial: Illegal hunt may be last for Makah Nation (9/12)
Unauthorized hunt likely to delay action on permit (9/11)
Editorial: Makah Nation reacts swiftly to rogue hunt (9/11)
Editorial: Illegal whale hunters must be punished (9/11)
Makah Nation blasts unauthorized whale hunt (9/10)