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Makah Nation await approval to restart whale hunt

The Makah Nation of Washington signed a treaty in 1855 that guarantees the right to hunt whale. In 2005, the tribe is waiting for approval from the federal government to restart the hunt.

The tribe stopped taking gray whales in the 1920s due to non-Indian exploitation that led to the whale's listing under the Endangered Species Act. In 1999, after the whale was removed from the list, the tribe resumed the hunt and successfully landed a whale.

The tribe went back to the waters in 2000 but didn't catch anything. Then, in 2002, the hunt was stopped altogether by a federal appeals court. Animal-rights activists convinced the court that the 1855 Treaty was limited by the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Now the tribe is seeking a waiver under the law. Public hearings are planned but government officials expect litigation by activists.

Get the Story:
In Petition to Government, Tribe Hopes for Return to Whaling Past (The New York Times 9/19)

Relevant Links:
Makah Nation -

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