The Makah whaling crew paddles its 32-foot canoe “Hummingbird” into Pacific Ocean waters during a training season last summer in Neah Bay. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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==== A message from the 'makahwhaling' discussion list ===== ACTION ALERT ITEM!!! ---------------------------------- We are asking EVERYONE to mount a large-scale telephone campaign to the U.S. Coast Guard. These calls could really affect the outcome of this hunt!!!!! Callers need to express their regarding about the Makah whale hunt and the U.S. Coast Guard's policy of assisting the Makah in their illegal hunt. Remember, folks- the U.S. Coast Guard is funded by you, the taxpayers. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK FOR YOU! Please remind them who they work for! Most importantly, DEMAND that the U.S. Coast Guard IMMEDIATELY RELEASE the SEDNA and Sea Shepherd boats that were confiscated yesterday!!!!! You should also call the U.S. attorney's office (below) and demand they start working for the people who pay their salaries (that's you and me). Make your feelings known! Please forward this information to as many concerned citizens and organizations as you can. We need to make it very clear to the U.S. government that they are NOT representing the American people well in this matter. SEDNA has passed on the relevant phone numbers: U.S. Coast Guard at Neah Bay Phone: (360) 645-2236 Fax: (360) 645-2237 U.S. Coast Guard Thirteenth District Commander, Seattle, WA Phone: (206) 220-7110 Fax: (206) 220-7245 Susan Roe, Assistant United States Attorney Phone: (206) 553-7970 Fax: (206) 553-2054 Thank you. MAKAH WHALERS REST -------------------------------------- ASSOCIATED PRESS AND KIRO 7 EYEWITNESS NEWS (NEAH BAY, Wash.) In the span of six days, a ragtag group of anti-whaling activists standing guard at the northwestern tip of the country watched as the U.S. Coast Guard seized four of their vessels, including a large jet boat prized for its speed. Protest leaders acknowledged a temporary setback Sunday, but vowed to remain on station indefinitely while the Makah Indian Tribe attempts to revive its ancient whaling culture by spearing a gray whale with a harpoon flung from a handmade cedar canoe. The Makah whalers rested Sunday, a day after spending 101/2 hours paddling around the Pacific on their second hunt in a week. They threw their harpoon twice Saturday, but the whales escaped apparently unharmed. "Boats are replaceable," Jonathan Paul, head of the Oregon-based Sea Defense Alliance, said in a cell phone interview from the 95-foot Sirenian, the flagship of the protest fleet. "People are calling in and offering their boats. "It's not stopping us." The Coast Guard cited the operators of four protest vessels with grossly negligent behavior as they darted around the canoe and its tribal support boats in an effort to disrupt the hunt. Three vessels -- the 42-foot Bulletproof, a Jet Ski and an inflatable craft -- were seized and remain in Coast Guard custody indefinitely. A fourth vessel was seized last Monday. "I think the tradeoff -- boats for a whale -- is pretty fair," said Paul Watson, skipper of the Sirenian and head of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. "I'm pretty sure they would have taken a whale if it wasn't for those small boats." Protesters praised the quick response by Cheryl Rorabeck-Siler, a high school science teacher from Newhalem, Ore., who was first on the scene Saturday in her Jet Ski. She harassed the whaling crew while the protest fleet sped to the area from Seiku, 18 miles away. "It was a little scary," Rorabeck-Siler said. "(The Makah) made it clear they didn't want me there. They had me boxed in at one time and tried to swamp me." The seizures apparently left the activists with the Sirenian, a fierce-looking former Coast Guard cutter painted black, and a handful of small power boats. Watson declined to discuss how many boats are left, how many new boats will join the fleet or when they will arrive, citing "security" issues. He expects the Coast Guard to return the four seized vesse Flattery on their way from Mexico to Alaska. In addition to negligent operations, operators of the three craft seized Saturday also were cited for violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act by coming too close to whales and, in one case, possibly striking a whale. Watson complained that it's the Makah, who plan to spear a whale and then shoot it with a .50-caliber rifle, who are harassing the whales. When grays were taken off the Endangered Species List in 1994, the tribe moved to resume whale hunts guaranteed under their 1855 treaty. The U.S. government supported their bid before the International Whaling Commission. The tribe was allocated 20 whales through 2004. The Makah hunt-management plan bars sale of edible whale parts. It was unclear Sunday when the hunt will resume. Many of the Makah spent the day at a tribal basketball tournament at the local high school gymnasium. ***** FROM THE 'GLOBE AND MAIL' (CANADA) --------------------------------------------------------------- Vancouver -- Re Makah Whalers Return Empty-Handed -- May 12: "I am disgusted by the near obscenity of allowing the so-called First Nations people to revert to the "old ways" of killing whales. This is almost the 21st century. Shouldn't everyone, especially certain humans who have been designated as "closer to the earth" than some of us, be required to adapt to certain new conditions regarding environmental policy? I don't care how much of a nice ritual this was for the people, this is unequivocally inappropriate. The government's indulgence and mishandling of this matter reminds me of a yuppie parent at an airport, cellphone in hand, handing his spoiled child a $5 ice-cream bar every time he whines. A better response, but one that no one seems to have the guts to make, would be: N-O spells no. I need to end this rant by quoting my youngest son: "Mom, what if those guys decide they want to start scalping people like they used to in the old days?" What can I say?" ***** The situation at 9:00am PDT.... The hunt is on, but is taking place south of the area in which the Exclusion Zone can be invoked. When the hunt first began, protestors were still quite a distance from the scene. Only one protest jet-ski was able to intervene and prevent the Makah from striking a whale. SEDNA's flagship, 'Bulletproof,' has been boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard. It was alleged that the 'Bulletproof' struck a whale while attempting to scare whales from the scene, but videotape clearly shows they did not. At the present time, it is being reported that the 'Bulletproof' and crew have been arrested and taken off the scene. Sea Shepherd's 'Sirenian' is still on scene, as well as several other smaller craft. The Makah are claiming the hunt will continue until they "get their whale." A land-based protest is still scheduled today- please rendevous with other protestors at Olson's Resort, Sekiu, at 1:00 pm. More as it develops... 1
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