Makah Tribe Wins Federal Approval to Hunt Gray Whales

The decision from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is a crucial victory for the tribe in its decades-long quest to resume whaling traditions that were enshrined as a right in an 1855 treaty. Tribal leaders have said the whaling is needed for the tribe’s culture and welfare at a time when each is under threat.

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The United States largely outlawed whaling more than 50 years ago because many species had been hunted to the edge of extinction. Since then, the Eastern North Pacific gray whales that the tribe plans to hunt have made a population comeback, and were removed from the endangered species list in 1994.

Still, conservation groups and others have vehemently fought against the hunts, arguing that the whales need continuing protection, that the intelligent and social mammals would suffer from the hunts, and that some species with smaller populations could be placed at risk.

Ed Morrissey

Didn't they watch Star Trek IV

If the treaty is still in force, then there's not much that NOAA could or should do to stop the Makah from exercising their rights under it. But it will likely make it tougher to keep other countries from whaling, which has been a long-standing effort by environmentalists. 

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