Me, Myself, and I

Decent Essays
To: Steve Stone Date: Oct. 1, 2008

NOAA Fisheries Northwest Region

1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100

Portland, OR 97232

From: Wren Lynberg

Re: Makah Request for Waiver of MMPA Moratorium

Dear Mr. Stone,

After carefully reviewing the available background information on the Makah Indian Tribe’s request for a waiver of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) moratorium against hunting of gray whales, I believe that the waiver by the Makah peoples should be approved. I agree with the Makah Tribe’s position that their treaty rights, granted to them in the Treaty of Neah Bay (1855), should take precedence over more recently enacted legislation by the United States. Although the treaty
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They have provided several Environmental Impact Statements with regards to their prospective whaling. They have adopted a tribal Management Plan to deal with concerns specific to which whales were eligible to be hunted (not the PFCA whales) and to address hunt safety issues. The gray whale was removed from the Endangered Species List in 1994. Current population levels are robust enough that allowing the Makah Tribe to pursue their requested “take” of gray whales could not significantly impact the whale population. In fact, enough data exists to suggest that even if all the indigenous peoples (aborigines) on the coast of the Pacific Ocean (Russian and US) hunted to the quota limits allowed by the IWC regulations the gray whale population would still never again be endangered as they were previously when commercial whaling practices decimated them.

The tribe has agreed to only hunt in offshore waters. Most commercial whale watching happens within sight of land. Since no hunting will actually occur in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, it is fair to assume there will be little of no impact on the whale watching industry. While the cetaceans are very advanced mammals, there is no proof that the killing of a whale, done in the quantities proposed by the Makah, will change the migratory path of the gray whale. As previously stated,
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