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Makah Nation committed to resumption of treaty whale hunts

A gray whale in Neah Bay in Washington. Photo from Makah Nation

The Makah Nation of Washington hopes to resume its treaty-protected whale hunt, Chairman Timothy Greene said.

The 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay secures the right to hunt. The tribe, however, stopped in the 1920s due to international exploitation that threatened the survival of the gray whale.

After the whale was removed from the endangered species list, the tribe concluded a successful hunt in May 1999. But lawsuits from environmental groups resulted in a series of rulings from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that said that the hunt must comply with the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

After years of work, NOAA Fisheries, an agency within the Department of Commerce, is finally issuing a draft environmental impact statement on the hunt. Public comments will be accepted for 90 days.

“We are definitely happy that we have reached this point,” Chairman Timothy Greene told The Seattle Times. “It has been a very long process.”

“This is something that is strongly connected to our spiritual existence,” Greene added. ‘We’re not going anywhere, and this important for us, and generations to come.“

More information about the study can be found on the NOAA Fisheries website.

Get the Story:
NOAA study could set stage for tribal whaling to resume (The Seattle Times 3/6)

Related Stories:
New environmental study being drafted on Makah Tribe whaling (05/23)

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