Ross Good, 4-3-2000, Example Policy Outline (with editing by Jim Hanson)

NOTE: THE SPEECH IS PRIMARILY QUOTATIONS. THAT’S THE WAY TO DO IT. While it has five quotations, the Philips one is rather short—so I’d like at least one more quotation.


Internationally, whales have been decimated. Unfortunately, the United States has made a major mistake in allowing the Makah Indian tribe to continue this decimation. I will argue that the Makah tribe should not be permitted to whale.


1) Currently, the United States, along with 39 other nations around the world, are actively bounded to the International Whaling Commission. With the United States leading the pack, the 39-country alliance has agreed to ban all forms of whaling. However in 1997, the US granted the OK to allow the Makah tribe to kill 4 gray whales every year through 2002.



2) Allowing the Makah to re-engage in hunting does more harm than good.

a) Has encouraged other nations to re-engage in whale hunting.

• Rep. Jack Metcalf NEEDS DATE stated "The Makahs have already done the damage we feared. This will now open the door for more quota increases. Japan has already stated the desire to allow four villages on the Taiji Peninsula to be granted a quota. Iceland has announced that it plans to resume commercial whaling. Thousands of whales may be killed because of this claim of "cultural necessity."'

(Statement Jack Metcalf: Makah Whale Hunt)

Anne Philips of the Marine Mammal Research Program. NEEDS DATE

• "Its taken 70 years for the world whale population to rebound from its once critical state. The slowly rebounding populations are nowhere near their original level and the continuous slaughtering in most cases is eating away at the gains,"


b) Permits underground commercial whaling and sea lion harvesting with Japan and Norway, which was stated off limits in the agreement and the Makahs promised they had no intention in doing.

• Sea Shepherd Pacific Northwest Coordinator Michael Kundu states,

"We have obtained documentation that the Makah intend to harvest gray whales, harbor seals, California sea lions, mink whales, the Harbor Porpoise, Dall's Porpoise, and potentially, in the future, sea otters. The Makah are planning to operate a processing plant so as to sell to markets outside the U.S. The Makah have started discussions with Japan and Norway about selling their sea mammal products to both countries. The plant could be used to process the catches of other tribes as well. The Makah and other tribes plan to reduce local populations of harbor seals to one-half to one-third of current population. This documentation alone, reveals the Makah's supposed intent to hunt California gray whales for "cultural and ceremonial" purposes, was misleading and a lie."


3) I propose revoking the whaling rights the US government so carelessly gave to the Makahs. 

a) Halting whaling would give all species of whale time to recover from when they were almost harvested to near extinction in the 1920's.


• "... .many of the whales are not even at 40% of pre-exploitation populations and the current whale harvesting situation doesn't aid in the slow recovery. We must stop all forms of whale harvesting in order for a fast and full recovery of the 9 species of whale that are under the protection of the endangered species list." -

(http ://safepassing. org/seashepherd)

b) Stripping the whaling rights of the Makahs will take the fighting punch out of the many countries and tribes who are now demanding whaling quotas.

Article in Animal People NEED FULL SOURCE CITATION

• "Japan seeks permission to kill 50 whales in a "traditional" hunt as an "short-term relief allocation" to help the economies of it's northern fishing towns, while Russia requesting that Siberian whalers from the Chukotska peninsula be allowed to kill five highly endangered bowhead whales, as well as their existing quota of 140 grey whales annually, of which they only managed to find and kill 85 last year. Thirteen tribal bands on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, just across the Straight of San Juan de Fuca from the Makah, likewise declared their interest in whaling, and were expected to apply for quotas next year. These requests are fueled by the Makah promoting their success in it's whale hunt. The fact that the Makahs have been granted whaling rights makes any nation or tribe eligible for their own whaling rights. The Makahs' whaling rights must be torn from their blood soaked hands.

(ANIMAL PEOPLE, August 1996)

4) Conclusion The US government has made a mistake in backing the Makah's request for hunting whale. In withdrawing their decision to give the Makahs the right to whale, it will show to the world the United States can handle environmental conflicts and that the future of whales will be a safe one. 


I ) The Makahs have the right to Whale under a treaty.

a) Makahs didn’t even hunt whales when they were under a previous treaty.


"Despite their treaty right, the Makah voluntarily abandoned whale hunting for most of the next thirty years. Makah hunters were busy plying the lucrative commercial fur seal trade. By the end of the 19" century, the fur seal population had been almost completely decimated, and the U.S. government moved to stop the trade. Many Makah hunters returned to hunting whales on a limited basis. Large scale commercial whaling operations through much of the first half of this decade had so severely depleted the North Pacific whale populations that it certainly contributed to the Makah's dwindling whaling efforts in the early 1900s. Makah sporadically hunted and traded whale until 1915, and then held a few final hunts in the mid-1920s.'"

b) The fact that the Makahs are finding whaling such an important part of their people, they would have never voluntarily abandoned it for the seal trade in the first place. Now, seventy years later, they decide it's a necessity again? I don't think so.


 2) But the Makahs state they are following the ways of their elders. Isn't that enough?

a) Their ancestors believe that whaling is WRONG! In a letter paid by PAWS, the elders of the Makahs speak against the whaling:


"We are elders of the Makah Indian Nation (Ko-Ditch-ee-ot) which means People of the Cape. We oppose this Whale hunt our tribe is going to do. The Makah Indian Nation has been functioning without a quorum; two Councilmen are off on sick leave for very serious reasons, cancer. How can any decision be legal when our by-laws state the Treasures shall be present at every meeting? The Vice Chairman is the other man out. The Whale hunt issue has never been brought to the people to inform them and there is no spiritual training going on. We believe they, the Council, will just shoot the Whale, and we think the word "subsistence" is the wrong thing to say when our people haven't used or had Whale meat/blubber since the early 1900's. For these reasons we believe the hunt is only for the money. They can't say "Traditional, Spiritual and for Subsistence" in the same breath when no training is going on, just talk. "

b) If it was really for traditional and spiritual meaning of they used power boats, walkie-talkies, cell phones, a .50 caliber rifle, an ice truck, and a $335,000 federal grant. Doesn't sound like a spiritual quest to me.

3) The deaths of 20 whales in the next 5 years will not impact the whale population at all.

a) It will not.

b) But it will show to all the nations around the world that since the United States can go whaling, so can everyone else. Iceland has already announced it will start commercial whaling. 20 years, 4 whales... no. But 20 years, 40 nations, each taking their fair share... ..devastating.

c) Also,

Makah History From an PAWS news release—NEED A FULLER SOURCE CITATION

"It might mean the end of the gray whale-watching business on the Pacific Coast," said Jamie Bray, owner ofJamie's Whaling Station in Tofino, British Columbia, about 70 miles north ofNeah Bay. He said the business in his area generates $8 million to $10 million a year. He said the gray whale, once known as the "devil fish" for its aggressiveness, might again become dangerous as the animals, on their spring and fall migrations along the West Coast, face Makah harpoons and rifles. The whales are intelligent and have become accustomed to whale-watching boats, occasionally bumping their 40-ton, 45-foot-long bodies into them. Bray takes 20,000 people a year to watch.'

4) The United States did get consent from the IWC, so there should be no problem because they didn't break any laws.

a) The United States BARELY got the majority vote on the decision. A good number of nations were absent because they hadn't paid their dues. Only 12 out of the 38... .does that sound like a majority?

b) The United States DID break many laws in giving the Makahs to right to whale. In making the decision, the United States failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Marine Sanctuaries Act and the Whaling Convention Act in part by not adequately assessing the environmental impact of the proposed whaling. 


5) The Makahs need whaling for their livelihood.


The Oregonian, written by Courtenay Thompson—STATE HER QUALIFICATIONS

"Makah tribal leaders say they want to start hunting the gray whale again as a way of reviving their culture. They insist that the whales would be used for ceremonial and subsistence purposes—but they have also reserved the right to commercial whaling in the future. The proposed hunt is allied with efforts by the commercial interests in Japan and Norway that hope to turn the tide against anti-whaling sentiment by promoting what they call "community based whaling among indigenous people for cultural, dietary or economic reasons."

Equally contradictory, I see no ceremonial or spiritual connection with using a support boat, a .50-caliber rifle or cell phones in the hunt.