Pacific Spirit Marine Institute
Sunday, September 9, 2007
The AP is reporting that a Gray Whale had been shot by a machine gun near the western tip of Washington State.
The Coast Guard believes members of the Makah tribe shot and harpooned the Gray Whale on Saturday morning. The Whale after having been attacked did not die and is now limping its wounded way back out to sea.
As the Makah’s are happy to tell you at their own website “Whaling has been one of our traditions for over 1,500 years and is a right secured to us by treaty…”
The Makah’s also believe that many of their health problems come from the lack of Sea Mammal Meat in their diet. Give the Makah the genetic link to ‘needing blubber’ in their diet, but take the right to their 50-caliber machine guns away from them if this story turns out to be true.
The Makah are allowed to take 5 Gray Whales per year as part of their ‘cultural and subsistence rights’. I’m no expert on Makah Culture, but I’ll guarantee 1.500 years ago the brave hunters of the Makah Tribe were NOT using machine guns to bring in their hunt.
It seems to me the term ‘culture’ needs to be revisited and revisited in a HUGE way!
The Makah website is also happy to point out in their FAQ section “We will conduct it (the hunt) in a way that is as consistent as possible with our traditional manner of whale hunting, but also with the requirement of the International Whaling Commission and the Marine Mammal Protection Act that the killing of the whale be done in as humane a manner as possible, and at the same time with as much safety as possible for our hunters.”
Sadly many people have been trying to turn up the ‘RACE CARD’ when it comes to the Makah and whaling. The problem with stirring a pot of waste until it comes to a boil is that more often than not, that waste will splatter back upon the one that is stirring the pot. Cruelty is not owned by any particular Race and should be chided when and where ever it is found.
We can only hope that the initial reports of this incident are in error.
Just as shooting fish in a barrel is part of no ones culture, machine gunning down and wounding an animal without killing it is one of the cruelest acts imaginable and hopefully not a part of any ones culture. We hope this act was committed by ’street gangs running rampant’ in the waters off the coast of Washington State.
Labels: Gray, Gray Whale, Grey Whale, Makah, Ocean, Ocean Mammals, Sea Mammals, US Coast Guard, Washington State, accident at sea
© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.
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