Country Joe's Place

Animal/Ecology Links and News

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H  O  M  E
 

Bulletins

o Paul Spong of
Orcalab writes: "When a barge dangerously laden with logging equipment, including a tanker truck of diesel fuel, spilled its load in the heart of the world’s best known orca habitat – the Ecological Reserve at Robson Bight - last August 20th, whale lovers were outraged, environmentalists dismayed, the public alerted, and even the oil industry took note. Canada’s initial response, via its Coastguard, was to discount the possibility of serious impacts by claiming all the oil and fuel had been released and dispersed. Months later, despite video evidence (www.livingoceans.org) that the tanker truck is intact and probably still full of toxic diesel fuel we are still waiting for an announcement that the next obvious step – cleanup – will be undertaken before the orcas return in early summer. The orcas will return soon, probably in June & no later than July. If the fuel tanker isn’t removed by the time the orcas arrive, it will be considered too risky to do the job until they leave again in the fall or early winter. This means the cleanup could be pushed back to next spring. Meanwhile, the diesel might remain inside the tanker, or it might not. If it is released when orcas are present, the result could be catastrophic. Leaving it lying at the bottom with orcas swimming above is foolhardy and negligent. As a matter of urgency, please insist that Canada and British Columbia act now."
o Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherds writes on February 28: "Greetings! Operation Migaloo continues to be an outstanding success as my crew and I keep the illegal Japanese whalers on the run. As the ice thickens and the weather worsens, the end of the whaling season draws near. Over the next few weeks we intend to continue to stop the whalers from killing anymore whales. After we return from the whaling campaign, we will then set our sights on defending the seals in Canada while we continue our ongoing work on behalf of all ocean wildlife including sharks and the fragile ecosystem in the Galapagos. For nearly a full week, Sea Shepherd's ship the Steve Irwin has kept the Japanese whaling fleet on the run. Having previously planted tracking devices on one of the whaling vessels, we're able to follow them every step of the way. When they zig, we zag and while they're running, they can't whale. Operation Migaloo and Operation Migaloo II has been the longest ever harassment of a whaling operation since illegal whaling activities began in 1986."
o Yellowstone National Park officials captured 53 wild American bison this morning [February 8] inside the Stephens Creek bison trap located within Yellowstone National Park's borders. The captured bison are members of the last wild, genetically intact population existing in the United States, and number fewer than 4,600. Most, if not all, will be sent to slaughter without being tested for brucellosis antibodies. "The National Park Service is caving in to the unreasonable demands of Montana's livestock industry at the expense of an American icon, our national heritage," said Stephany Seay, media coordinator for Buffalo Field Campaign. 2,120 wild American bison have been killed or otherwise removed from the remaining wild population since 2000 under actions carried out by the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP), as well as state and treaty hunts. Buffalo Field Campaign has proposed real alternatives to the current mismanagement of American bison that can be viewed here.

Links

Greenpeace
Green Left Weekly
Geoff Francis' Art for Animals site
Hillside Animal Sanctuary, Norwich, UK
Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Carmel, California
Earth First! Journal
Hayduke Rocks! an Earth First! Media and Action Network, Andy Caffrey, facilitator
Orca-Live -- streaming audio and video from Orcalab
Orcalab -- get the latest on Corky the whale
Bamboo Nursery
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society / Captain Paul Watson
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Defenders of Wildlife
Earth Day Network
House Rabbit Society
Snorkel Wood-fired Hot Tubs
Ocean Defense International
Musicians United to Sustain the Environment -- visit the site and win a free CD
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Willows Animal Sanctuary, Scotland
Earth Liberation Front
Sarayacu -- the indigenous Kichwa people of Ecuador and their struggle against the oil companies
Shell to Sea -- fighting Shell Oil in County Mayo
KyotoUSA -- forget the government, ratify the protocol yourself

Click to hear Julia Butterfly

 

Features

Terrific Anti-pesticides Victory: NYC Settles 7-year old Lawsuit with No Spray Coalition | A Report from Captain Paul Watson | Makah Plan Hush-Hush Whale Hunt | Whaling Beckons the Makah | Protesters Disrupt Montana Buffalo Hunt | Wildlife Services Kill Figures | Galapagos Fisherman's Uprising | Latest Japan Whaling News | Japan's Dolphin Slaughter is On Again | Loggers Terrified by Topless Goddess! | A Call to Action: Earth Day 2001 | Orca-Live Goes Live | Japanese Begin Hunt of Protected Whales in Pacific | Makah Issue Shakes Up Green Party | News of Ocean Defense International's Clash with the Makah Whalers | Trade Convention Refuses to "Downlist" Gray, Minke Whales | Berkeley Honors Julia Butterfly | "Dolphin-Safe" Tuna Labeling Threatened | For the Buffalo  

Terrific Anti-pesticides Victory: NYC Settles 7-year old Lawsuit with No Spray Coalition

April 20, 2007

For seven years, the No Spray Coalition and other environmental groups have battled the City of New York in Federal Court in opposition to the Giuliani administration's massive and indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides, including Malathion.

On April 12, a federal judge signed a settlement agreement in which New York City admits that the pesticides sprayed may indeed be dangerous to human health as well as to the natural environment.

The settlement agreement states that, contrary to the City's prior statements, pesticides
- may remain in the environment beyond their intended purpose
- cause adverse health effects
- kill mosquitoes' natural predators
- increase mosquito resistance to the sprays, and
- are not presently approved for direct application to waterways.

This settlement agreement is a tremendous victory for health advocates and a rebuff to the anti-environmental polices of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Thousands of New Yorkers were made seriously sick by the spraying. A number of members of the No Spray Coalition, including several of the plaintiffs, died from pesticide-related illnesses. Many suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) or Asthma caused or exacerbated by the spraying. We are very glad that the new City administration has to some degree acknowledged that pesticides are extremely dangerous to human health. They need to be rejected as a way of killing mosquitoes.

In particular, the use of insect repellents containing DEET should never be used, especially on children.

The settlement agreement stipulates that the City meet with the Coalition for two 3-hour sessions. We will be discussing that and other concerns with the City when we meet.

One plaintiff in the lawsuit, artist Robert Lederman, notes that in 1999 and 2000 then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and other City officials claimed that the spraying was "safe" and was used as "a last resort" in its effort to kill mosquitoes said to be vectors for West Nile encephalitis.

"This agreement represents the latest rebuff to the notion that Giuliani was a good Mayor," Lederman said. "In 1999 and 2000, while repeatedly spraying the population of NY with pesticides derived from Nazi-era nerve gasses, Giuliani appeared in daily press conferences claiming that the chemicals were completely harmless. The City of NY has now admitted that these chemicals are harmful, that they persist in the environment and that much more caution will have to be used if they decide to ever spray them again."

Attorneys for the No Spray Coalition -- Joel Kupferman, (NY Environmental Law and Justice Project, and National Lawyers Guild), and Karl Coplan and Daniel Estrin (PACE Environmental Litigation Clinic), announced that as part of the settlement the City agreed to pay $80,000 to five grassroots environmental and wildlife rehabilitation groups and meet with the plaintiffs in several sessions to review an extensive list of concerns that the Coalition provided. The Plaintiffs are not permitted, under the terms of the Clean Water Act, to receive a monetary settlement themselves.

The resolution of the lawsuit begins a new phase in our activities. In our letter of concerns to the City, which is officially attached to the lawsuit settlement and available for reading on our website, the No Spray Coalition seeks to win official approval for a proposed "Community Health and Environment Council."

Should the City approve this new Council, it would
- make recommendations on environmental health impacts of pesticide use and alternatives
- review and propose alternative, nontoxic control of mosquitoes.
- critique the city's official mosquito control plan
- offer new plans to replace adulticides with safe materials
- assess agents chosen with regard to interaction with all toxins in our living environment.

There is currently no testing of chemical or biological agents in combination, and these chemicals often have synergistic or cumulative impacts on health and the environment that fall below the officially designated danger zone when examined separately.

While we hope that the City would approve the proposal to establish the Community Health and Environmental Council, we recognize that it will probably take another prolonged struggle to achieve that, the next step in our fight to make the City accountable environmentally and health-wise to the people subjected to these toxins.

We expect that the terms of the Settlement Agreement will be especially helpful to those fighting against pesticide spraying elsewhere. Indeed, we consulted with many organizations not only in the U.S. but in Canada and Mexico as well, and we negotiated clauses in the Agreement with the needs of other locales in mind.

 


A Report from Captain Paul Watson

September 16, 2005

Dear Friend of Sea Shepherd,

I am currently in the midst of my Speaking Tour in Canada. I have just left Calgary, headed for Winnipegtomorrow, Michigan on Sunday, and Toronto on Monday. The response so far has been great – the attendance has been wonderful, I have done many press interviews, and have garnered much support. Many who attended have been inspired to get involved and are meeting with their local ministers of parliament to voice their objection to the annual seal slaughter.

At the end of next week, I will be heading to South Africa to attend the Hermanus Whale Festival then returning to the Galapagos.

Currently, the Farley Mowat and crew are in the Galapagos where the crew is assisting the park rangers in patrolling the Marine Reserve. There, we will renew our agreement with the Galapagos National park to allow the park to use our patrol boat Sirenian for conservation enforcement work.

On our way to the Galapagos, we stopped at Malpelo, Columbia, where we delivered supplies to the park rangers. We will be returning to Malpelo to enter into an agreement with the Director of the National Parks of Colombia to enforce conservation regulations against poaching in the Malpelo Island Marine Reserve.

In early October, the Farley Mowat will be departing Galapagos for Melbourne, Australia – our next stop in reaching the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, where we will defend and protect endangered whales from the Japanese whaling fleet.

I am pleased to announce that we have added a new section to our website entitled: Defending Whales. There you will find information on Sea Shepherd’s upcoming campaign to Antarctica, our history protecting whales, issues facing whales around the world, and how you can take action to help protect these gentle giants.

For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, you probably know that the Makah plan a return to whale killing. In October of 2005, there will be three public hearings held by the United States Federal Government required in federal environmental law to prepare an environmental impact statement. We encourage all who can to attend these hearings and voice your opposition. If you are interested in attending with a group of Sea Shepherd members, please email Connie at connie@seashepherd.org.

On October 8th, Sea Shepherd will be participating with dozens of other organizations in the Japan Dolphin Day in protest of the slaughter of over 20,000 dolphins to take place in Japan. There are demonstrations scheduled at Japanese consulates and embassies around the world around the world. If you are interested in organizing a demonstration in your city at a Japanese embassy or consulate, please contact us at volunteer@seashepherd.org.

I also want to let you know about another place where seals are in danger – this time in South Africa. Long-time friend of Sea Shepherd, Francois Hugo, has been working as Seal Alert – South Africa to stop the senseless slaughter of the beautiful Cape fur seals. He is trying to gather a petition to the government and also to raise USD$18,000 to purchase a 24’ long by 15’ wide catamaran. It will be used as a floating platform that can house rehabilitation equipment, freezer, liquidizer, etc. It will allow Francois to stay abroad for 24-7, and is big enough to accommodate 50 to 100 seals needing rehab. You can read about his campaigns on our Seal Alert Page, view slide shows of the Cape Fur seals, learn how to sign the petition, and support his work with a financial donation.

As you can see, we have many battles to wage. Your participation is crucial for the defenseless marine animals we work to protect and I thank you for your continued support.

Captain Paul Watson

 


Makah Plan Hush-Hush Whale Hunt

Christopher Dunagan
Bremerton (WA)Sun
November 3, 2001

PORTLAND, OR- The Makah Indian Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula will attempt to kill one or more gray whales over the next few months without the heavy media exposure of 1998-99, according to Tom Happynook, of the Huu-ay-aht Nation in Canada.

In fact, Makah representatives have cut themselves off from talking to reporters and refused to take part in a panel discussion last week about their own whaling activities, said Happynook, president of the World Council of Whalers.

The discussion, which grew heated at times, took place at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Journalists in Portland.

Happynook, a whaler in Canada, said representatives of the Makah Tribe faced violence, racism and death threats as a result of the heavy media coverage in 1999. That's why they don't want to deal with the media, he said.

As Makah whalers went out in a canoe, reporters from around the world converged on their reservation on the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Up to a dozen television crews broadcast live, and news helicopters captured images of a gray whale being harpooned and killed.

"Many feel they have been betrayed by the media," Happynook said.

Happynook, representing the Makah Tribe, traded barbs with Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society- the group that tried to stop the whalers, using vessels ranging from the ocean-going Sea Shepherd to tiny jet boats.

What many people don't understand is how important whaling is to the Makah and to other Northwest tribes, Happynook said. The benefits included cultural, spiritual and economic values.

Native people whaled for thousands of years before white whalers decimated the stocks, he said. The Makah voluntarily curtailed their whaling for 70 years. Now that scientists say gray whales have recovered, the tribe should be allowed to resume the whaling tradition, he said.

Watson said he has opposed whaling for 25 years, particularly when commercial interests threaten to decimate species. Watson said he got involved in Makah whaling when he learned that Japanese interests subsidized the Makah whaling program to justify increased whaling by Japan.

Happynook insisted the Japanese contribution was only "seed money" as Watson pummeled him with accusations of being in the pocket of Japanese whaling interests.

 


Whaling Season Beckons the Makah

Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
August 21, 2001

Makah whalers are canoeing and practicing for their hunt later this fall.

The targeted area includes waters that whaling opponents say are inhabited by so-called "resident" whales in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The Makah say the theory that resident whales even exist was debunked in a recent court-ordered environmental study that allowed the North Olympic Peninsula tribe to preserve their whale hunt, in expanded form, after a yearlong hiatus.

The study concluded whales that feed in the Strait mix too much with migrating whales to call either population residents.

The Makah killed their first gray whale in about 70 years on May 17, 1999, under an arrangement with the International Whaling Commission and the U.S. government. Tribal whalers can take up to 10 gray whales in 2001 and 2002.

That accounts for .004 percent of the estimated worldwide population of 26,000 gray whales.

Even so, will the Makah, who have in the past confined their whale hunt to the open ocean, make any distinction between so-called resident whales such as Buddy, Freedom, Hope and Karin, and other whales named by whaling protestors?

"A whale is a whale, and we are going to hunt whales," Tribal Chairman Greig Arnold told me after a recent visit to the Makah reservation, and a few days after he returned from a meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

"These whales don't live here," said Arnold. "Are you a scientist? Do you believe in science? It really gets down to that."

Arnold's great grandfather, Wilson Parker, was a whaler. Arnold's cousin, Theron Parker, harpooned the 30-ton female gray whale in May 1999.

Arnold makes it clear, with a question that really does not require an answer, that he does not take much to the idea of naming the whales.

"Who named them, did the creator name them?"Arnold asked.

The answer is Margaret Owens of Port Angeles. She's the co-founder of Peninsula Citizens for the Protection of Whales.

She named Buddy, for example, dramatically personalizing the issue in what could be the protestors' smartest public relations move yet.

Owens has an abiding, emotional fascination with whales that seems impenetrable. "They have evolved into a species with such mysterious intelligence capabilities," she said.

There are two documents at work that will govern what happens in coming months.

One is an agreement between the tribe and the National Marine Fisheries Service that should be completed in time for the fall migration.

It will be "fundamentally the same" as the agreement that governed the Makah's successful taking of a gray whale in the open ocean just south of Cape Flattery two years ago, fisheries service spokesman Brian Gorman said.

The second document is a May 30 tribal management plan that will add a safety officer to the chase boat.

As in the 1999 hunt, the whale will be harpooned, then dispatched with a .50-caliber rifle fired by a whaler on the chase boat.

But in the upcoming hunt, the safety officer will determine the rifleman's view is clear of all persons, vessels, buildings, highways and other objects that could endanger humans. He also will ensure visibility up to 500 feet.

The rifle barrel must be within 30 feet of the whale. That reduces the danger because the gun will be pointed toward the water, Gorman said.

The safety officer was added following a recent federal environmental study that resulted from a suit filed by whaling protestors.

But because of that study, the area of the hunt has expanded to the Makah's "usual and accustomed" whaling area in the far quieter waters at the mouth of the Strait.

------------------

Makah whalers in a hand-hewn cedar canoe are expected to paddle into the chilly waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca this fall. Those waters also await protesters who for more than two years have been largely foiled in their attempts to stop the tribe's whale hunts.

Protestors suffered their latest blow last month with the release of a new federal environmental study that now allows the Makah to hunt not only migrating gray whales off the coast but also the so-called "resident whales" that feed near Neah Bay year-round.

The study also increased the tribe's hunting territory from the open Pacific- where they took their first gray whale in about 70 years on May 17, 1999- into the more sheltered waters of the Strait.

As things stand, the tribe has agreed to limit whaling this fall from Cape Flattery to six miles east, to a line in the Strait that follows the border of the Makah reservation, located at the northwestern tip of the North Olympic Peninsula.

Those waters are frequented by gray whales that protestors insist are "residents" but which the study said are intermittent "feeding aggregations" that mingle too much with migrating whales to say they live full time off our shores.

The Makah Whaling Commission is reviewing information submitted by four Makah clans who want to whale. The commission will certify who goes and who doesn't. The 32-foot Hummingbird canoe is available for whaling, as is another cedar canoe that's been built within the last two years, according to Gordon Smith, vice chairman of the Makah Tribal Council.

Those who want to whale are lifting weights, running and practicing their paddling skills in Neah Bay. The whalers should be ready around October 1, which is about the time of the annual gray whale migration.

The 30 to 40 ton animals will be traveling down the coast from their summer feeding grounds off Alaska's Aleutian chain to the birthing lagoons in Baja California.

As it was in May 1999, the first strike will be made with a barbed, steel-tipped harpoon from the canoe, followed up immediately with a .50-caliber coup de grace to the whale's head by a rifleman in an accompanying speed boat to make the whale's death as humane as possible. Then a chase boat will tow the whale to shore, where it will be ritually butchered.

A safety officer will guard against errant shots. A National Marine Fisheries Service craft will observe the hunt.

Stainless-steel harpoons and .50-caliber rifles give the Makah whalers some advantage over their forebears, but the hunt is anything but easy. In the spring of 2000, tribal members went on nine hunts and threw seven harpoons- without striking a whale.

Then the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals suspended federal approval of the whale hunts and ordered a new environmental study.

This fall will be the first time the Makah have hunted since May 2000. The Makah are legally permitted to take up to five whales this year and five in 2002 in an arrangement with the U.S. government and the International Whaling Commission as part of the Makah's traditional cultural and subsistence treaty rights. The Makah is the only U.S. tribe with a treaty right that guarantees their right to whale.

Tribal protocols for the hunt require that all the meat and blubber be distributed within the Makah community, or set aside for a feast, before another whale is taken. No part of the whale can be sold. The tribe has about 1,800 members.

Much of the meat from the 1999 kill was eaten during a huge community feast.

In talking with Margaret Owens of Joyce, a co-founder along with her husband, Chuck, of Peninsula Citizens for the Protection of Whales, I asked, why are whales different to her than other animals eaten by people?

Owens said she makes a distinction between whales, which she considers noble and highly intelligent animals, and cattle , which are raised for human consumption.

"Most of our frustration is at the government and the worldwide conspiracy to overthrow the moratorium on commercial whaling," Owens said.

Whale protestor Dan Spomer in Sekiu insists the Makah hunt is "nothing more than a dressed-up commercial hunt."

Tribal officials are equally adamant that they have no plans to commercially whale, though the tribe believes it has the right to do so. The tenor of the debate is unlikely to change anytime soon.

The environmental study is "filled with lies," Spomer said. "Just about everything coming from NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) is lies and deception."

The tribe can expect to have its quota renewed in 2002 for 2003, NMFS spokesman Brian Gorman said.

But if a "resident whale" is killed- Owens said she has "adopted" seven whales she says live in our local waters and named them Freedom, Hope, Spot, Gracie, Buddy II, Karin and Kelpy- it seems likely that would ratchet up the debate.

The so-called "residents"- a symbol of opposition to the Makah whaling- mill about and feed in many of the same places day in and day out off the coast and along the Strait.

Whaling opponents say hunting them would be like shooting tame deer in your backyard.

Sighs Gorman: "There's always a danger to naming an animal, because it becomes more psychologically difficult to do anything harmful to that animal."

"Every child who grows up on a farm knows that what you do not do is name animals for slaughter."

Two years ago, during the May 1999 whale hunt, protestors set up pickets along serpentine Highway 112 leading to the reservation.

A protestor was injured by a Coast Guard boat protecting the whales after she buzzed their canoe.

What will protestors do this year, once the hunt starts?

"I don't think anything has been ruled out," Spomer said. "All options are open, but everything we've done so far has been nonviolent."

 


Protesters Disrupt Montana Buffalo Hunt

Buffalo Field Campaign
March 17, 2001

By two thirty on Wednesday afternoon, seven wild and free-roaming bison were captured by the Montana Department of Livestock (DOL) and cooperating agencies, while others were being chased in an effort to capture them as well. Using a helicopter and snowmobiles, DOL agents chased bison several miles to the bison capture facility at Horse Butte, capturing two bison and losing others en route to the bison trap. Four activists were arrested when they allegedly turned eight bison around, saving them from capture and potential slaughter. Four more volunteers with the Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) were arrested later with unknown charges.

"The DOL resorted to hazing bison in an extremely disturbing manner for all species in the area. They are wasting taxpayer money and harassing wildlife by hazing bison out of an area where there are never cattle, while insisting that they are protecting cattle from bison and brucellosis," stated BFC spokesperson Summer Nelson.

One day prior to DOL activities two moose, a cow and calf, were feeding one hundred feet away on the same tributary as several bull bison on the Madison River. On the same day more than 20 bald eagles were observed foraging and in mating flights over the same area of the river. Since January of 2001 BFC volunteers have documented over 100 sightings of threatened bald eagles along the Madison River west of highway 191 and along the Horse Butte Peninsula.

Further wildlife disturbance was visible during today's helicopter hazing. BFC spokesperson Mike Mease stated that "We stood there and witnessed at least ten Forest Service law enforcement officers watch a minimum of 150 trumpeter swans get flushed off of the open water where they were resting. They flew away from the helicopter more than three miles northwest over Horse Butte. When we asked the officials if they were going to do something about it, none of them responded."

Trumpeter swans are considered a sensitive species under the endangered species act and are monitored closely by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Montana claims that such measures are necessary to protect cattle from receiving brucellosis from bison and plans to spend over 40 million dollars at taxpayer expense in the next 15 years to manage wild bison. While Montana insists that bison are a threat to cattle and the state's brucellosis-free status, both species as well as elk carrying brucellosis, have co-mingled for over 40 years in Jackson, WY without a case of brucellosis transmission between the species. There has never been a documented case of transmission from bison to cattle in a natural setting.

The summer grazing on Horse Butte amounts to 172 cow/calf pairs. This grazing allotment brings in less than $800 to the U.S. Treasury. The USDA does not have the legal authority to revoke Montana's status based solely on the presence of potentially exposed wildlife in the state. Thus, Montana's fears and actions are unjustified and unsupported by science.

Buffalo Field Campaign volunteers defend the buffalo on their traditional winter habitat and advocate for their protection. BFC is the only group working in the field every day to stop the slaughter of Yellowstone's wild buffalo.

 

Wildlife Services Kill Figures

Nancy Zierenberg
November 21, 2000

I have recently received Animal Damage Control's (or "Wildlife Services") annual report tables for fiscal year 1999. (As of Oct. 1, government programs entered fiscal year 2001.) ADC has informed me that within a couple of months the figures will be posted on their website: www.aphis.usda.gov/ws

KILL FIGURES

ADC reports to have killed 4,082,575 animals in fiscal year 99 (two and a half times what they reported from last year). They report another 20,400 captured and freed, although I it on record from ADC personnel that many of these animals are "freed" to other entities which then euthanize them. Also interesting in this particular table is ADC's admitting that they "freed" 486 animals from kill traps, 263 from neck snares, 2 were shot and 3 from denning activities! These are all very lethal control methods.

They reported killing 3,886,759 birds of various species, including hawks, owls, ducks, doves, vultures, ravens, songbirds, herons, etc. Most were starlings, pigeons, doves, and gulls, in that order.

Other species:

BADGERS---601. These species were even aerial gunned in Utah and Montana. . . our tax dollars at work.

BEARS---347, plus 2 grizzlies killed in Montana. Two black bears were killed by M-44s in West Virginia. Two Louisiana Black Bears were also purposefully killed.

BEAVERS---32,795.

BOBCATS---2,435. This species was killed by aerial gunning, M-44s, and by puncturing a toxic collar filled with compound 1080, among ADC's other usual methods.

CATS (domestic)---2,261.

COYOTES---85,938. Almost all were killed by aerial gunning (30,875), M-44s (18,159), by neck snares (12,949), leghold traps (7,806), denning (2,155), and 32 were killed by toxic collars filled with compound 1080.

DEER---1,238 (including 37 Mule Deer).

DOGS---877 (228 were killed by M-44s).

ELK---3.

FOX---6,182 Arctic---361 (41 by denning, 9 by M-44s) Gray---2,258 (51 by aerial gunning, 471 by M-44s) Kit---28 (24 by M-44s) Red---3,518 (180 by aerial gunning, 244 by denning, 922 by M-44s) Swift---17 (all by M-44s)

FERAL HOGS---5,910 (2,178 by aerial gunning, 9 by M-44s)

LIONS---359 (most killed under the heading of "other" for which there is no description).

MARMOTS & WOODCHUCKS---2,158 (4 by M-44s).

OPPOSSUM---2,062 (82 by M-44s).

OTTERS---649 (mostly by kill traps. Why otters? My guess is that they are perceived to compete with our aquaculture industry).

JAVELINA---162 (all were "accidental" kills).

PRAIRIE DOGS---494 (I don't believe this figure for a minute. My educated guess is that most were killed by poisoned oats or gas cartridges, died in their burrows and were never even counted. One species is virtually extinct, two very rare, and black-tailed p-dogs have been petitioned to be listed on the endangered species list. The other species, Gunnisons, may be next.)

PRONGHORN---3 (all accidental. Two caught and died in leghold traps, one in a neck snare).

RACCOONS---7,967 (265 by M-44s).

RINGTAILS---11 (3 by M-44s).

SKUNKS (all species)---6,489 (64 by M-44s).

TURTLES---728 (most were accidental, but not all. Not sure why turtles are bad?!).

WOLVES---173 (12 were aerial gunned, 1 by M-44).

There are many other species listed and killed that ADC considers to be target animals; harming agriculture, aquaculture, human properties, a threat to human health and safety, or even a threat to natural resources.

CHEMICAL INFO.

Compound 1080 Toxic Collar

These velcro collars have two bladders filled with deadly compound 1080 and are worn by selected livestock (lambs and goats) to lure coyotes to kill these collared animals. In the act of killing, the bladders are punctured and a deadly dose is ingested. Four to eight hours later, after a prolonged poisoning, death occurs.

Apparently, only three states used the toxic collar in fy 99. Since the registration for using this product has been streamlined in the last five years, nine states now have access to this most deadly of poisons, compound 1080. Those are TX, WY, MT, ID, WV, VA, NM, SD, and UT. California banned 1080 use by voter initiative, and Oregon activists recruited their Governor's help to ban their 1080 program.

According to ADC figures, Texas used 66 toxic collars, Virginia used 2, and West Virginia used 5. Thirty-two coyotes were reported killed by these devices. Is it worth the risk? Not hardly.

M-44 Devices

ADC reported 37,887 M-44s planted on public and private lands. These are supposedly "canine specific" and target only coyotes, foxes, and feral dogs. Their use is illegal in wolf country, but you'll note from the figures that one wolf was reported killed by an M-44. There have been others in past years.

You'll also note that there were 8 other species in the above list that were killed by M-44s that are not canines. The list for past years indicates almost two dozen non-canine species have died from them. Several people have been victims of secondary poisoning from the cyanide powder residue, though only one has ever been reported to have died from a "coyote getter", as they were called in the old days. That was in 1971. There were at least two very close calls with people that we know of in the last two years.

ADC also uses several bird and rodent poisons, most of which have secondary effects on other non-target species. Thousands of pounds are scattered over our public lands to kill animals for special interests, such as the livestock industry and forest industries. ADC/USDA also makes these chemicals available to the public at large to use without government supervision. The annual tables indicate that an abundance of nasty chemicals used by private individuals for similar purposes kills many, many times more animals than are reported in ADC figures.

If anyone has questions, or something is not clear, please contact me, Nancy Zierenberg at wdr@azstarnet.com. Or you can give ADC a call at (202) 720-2054. Monty Chandler is the compiler of all the states' figures, so you may want to ask for him. The Director of the ADC program is Bill Clay. You can fax any comments or questions to ADC at (202) 690-0053 or write: Director USDA/APHIS/WS (or ADC, as we prefer to do) 14th & Independence SW, Room 1624-south Washington DC 20250-3402

 


Galapagos Fishermen's Uprising

Tui De Roy
November 21, 2000

In the last three days, lawless bands of fishermen in Galapagos - an island province of Ecuador long hailed as an international flagship of conservation - have attacked conservation installations, ransacked municipal offices, torched a National Park vehicle, harassed tourist groups, taken rare captive-bred giant tortoises hostage, and threatened the lives of conservation personnel. Complete news coverage is hard to get, because communications out of the various islands is shaky to non-existent, but this info has been pieced together from e-mails received from alarmed residents and by making direct phone calls to Santa Cruz Island.

The situation reached crisis proportions around 0630 a.m. on Wednesday 15 November, when the fishermen seized island ports and posted their fast boats at many strategic locations to harass tourists trying to visit wildlife sites. Boat chases and other aggressions were reported against tourist operators who attempted to proceed with their activities. The Galapagos National Park personnel barricaded themselves in their headquarters and the small police contingent (35 men) helped keep the throngs of fishermen at bay, who repeatedly tried to storm the premises on Santa Cruz, as they had already done on Isabela and San Cristobal Islands. Police and navy protection have also been granted to Charles Darwin Foundation offices on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal Islands, who report that all their personnel are safe. On the Island of Isabela, the third major fishing port, the situation is reported as totally out of control, with the town mayor said to have fled for his life, though no details have been confirmed.

The fishermen have three main demands: a complete abandonment of the lobster fishing quota of 54 tons, which they filled in the first two months of the four months season; dropping all charges leveled at some of their members for previous violence against government property and personnel; and an active expansion of the Galapagos fisheries management to develop a completely new long-lining industry for currently protected shark within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. This demand comes in complete disregard of scientific advice or the fact that such fishing practices are widely known to pose serious risks to many rare and unique species, such as albatross, sea lions, sea turtles, sharks and many others.

As threats and events escalated on Wednesday, desperate messages were received from within Galapagos calling for armed reinforcement from the Ecuadorian military, with the pleading words "We can't hold out much longer!" However, according to the local radio station on Santa Cruz Island, by the end of the day the crisis had eased as the fishermen were granted a lobster quota extension of 30 additional tons to take them to the 31st of December, corresponding to a 60% hike over and above the original quota. It is not clear at this moment how the decision was reached to grant the fishermen this extension. In a broadcasted speech, the head of one of the fishing cooperatives declared the solution only temporary as the fishermen, emboldened by the success of their tactics, demand substantial expansion of the fishing activities inside the Marine Reserve, in defiance of existing quotas and measures.

It should be noted that, for several years already, the fishermen have been given a decisive voice in the Interinstitutional Management Authority in charge of the Reserve, under which spirit of cooperation they were to control the number of genuine local fishermen allowed to join the cooperatives. In a spectacular failure of this mechanism, the number of registered fishermen participating in the activity has jumped from around 500 last year to 939 at present, nearly a twofold increase, many of whom are recent arrivals to Galapagos. It is apparently this mushrooming of their numbers, who share the agreed quotas between them, which has turned the fishermen against the management scheme they helped create.

The dramatic implications of this latest in a series of conflagrations is that the fishermen have, not for the first time, seen their violent tactics rewarded with immediate gratification. The clear message for the future is that whenever they are unhappy with the management strategies in defense of sustainable use of the marine environment, violent action and threats of bodily harm is all it takes to obtain expedient results.

At this writing (1900 hours, 16 November, Galapagos local time) renewed violence is already taking shape, with more attacks on conservation institutions and tourism anticipated for the early morning hours as the fishermen upscale their actions in a free-for-all of sweeping demands.

The Galapagos Islands, awarded the title of World Heritage Site by the United Nations, have been recognized as a model of international conservation, with enormous trust placed in the harmonious development of an equanimous balance between human needs and environmental protection. The focus of these efforts have at all times been aimed at combining scientifically backed conservation strategies with the sustainable use of the resource for the benefit of both the people and the ecosystem. Current events are redefining those premises to allow short-term greed to rule instead. A show of force and commitment by all levels of government in defence of law and order and carefully crafted management strategies, is desperately needed if the integrity of Galapagos is not to be lost forever.

Compiled by Tui De Roy, wildlife photographer, resident of Galapagos for 40 years; currently living in New Zealand but maintaining close ties with events and family there.

A message from Sea Shepherd:

Dear Sea Shepherd Supporter,

During the week of November 13, while we were completing the work of outfitting our patrol vessel Sirenian in Seattle for the first international conservation patrols of the Marine Reserve in the Galapagos Islands, violent uprisings by fishermen pressing for unsustainable quotas trashed the offices and field stations of the National Park Service and the Darwin Research Station on several islands in the archipelago. National Park hq and the Station have been vandalized and everything in them destroyed. The Park and Station offices on San Cristobal remain closed.

The Park and Station were hit hardest in the area of electronic equipment. They have been severely reduced in communications and field work by losses in computers and peripherals (list follows). The Park Service does NOT have the funds to replace this equipment.

Our vessel delivery crew is now taking on an electronics relief mission. We are putting out a general call for funds, and a West Coast call for computer, communications and video gear (list follows), which we will pick up and purchase next week on the way down to the Galapagos. We intend to be underway from Seattle by Friday, November 24, with a stop scheduled in Los Angeles by the end of the month.

The Darwin Station and Park Service have been severely crippled. Their functioning is vital to the work of protecting the irreplaceable treasure of the Galapagos Islands. We must all rally to this cause.

Call, e-mail, or fax our main office to let us if you can donate equipment from the following list and will be able to get it to San Francisco or Los Angeles before November 30. Credit card donors should use the form www.seashepherd.org. If you are mailing a check, please contact us to let us know the amount.

For the Oceans, Captain Paul Watson Sirenian, Lake Union, Seattle

Sea Shepherd International
P.O. Box 2616
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
Phone: (360) 370-5500
Fax: (360) 370-5506
seashepherd@seashepherd.org

These are the losses of the Darwin Station and the Galapagos National Park Service that need to be replaced, in order of importance (NEW units only, please):

1. 4 desktop computers - IBM type 2. 2 laptop computers 3. 2 laser printers 4. 1 base station VHF radio 5. 1 HF radio SSB 5 5 portable radios Motorola PRO 5150 6. 1 photocopying machine 7. 2 air conditioning units 8. 1 television 9. 1 VCR 10. 1 video camera Hi8 11. 1 digital camera 12. 1 digital scanner 13. 1 data show projector (Nikon) 14. 1 35mm still camera

 


Latest Japan Whaling News

Washington Citizen's Coastal Alliance
November 20, 2000

JAPANESE WHALING FLEET RESUMES HUNT ONE DAY AFTER CLINTON LEAVES

By Joseph Coleman, The Associated Press

S H I M O N O S E K I, Japan, Nov. 17 - Shrugging off possible U.S. sanctions over its expanded whale hunt, Japan threw a party today as a fleet of ships headed off for the Antarctic on a mission to take 400 minke whales over the next five months.

This port on the southwestern tip of Japan's main island bid a rousing farewell to the five-ship fleet - part of the country's much-criticized whale research program - with a brass band, beer toasts and fireworks.

"We want everyone to understand that the research we are doing is necessary," Shimonoseki Mayor Kiyoshi Ejima told the crew and dozens of officials and spectators under tents set up on the wharf.

World Is Watching The hunt comes as President Clinton is deciding whether to recommend sanctions against Japan over the expansion of its hunt in the North Pacific. Japan was already hunting minke whales, but it now will target Bryde's and sperm whales too. Both are protected under U.S. law.

Commercial whaling has been banned for the last two decades, but Tokyo defends its hunts as scientific research allowed by the International Whaling Commission. It argues that it gains valuable data on sea resources through its whale catch and denies that the hunting endangers any species.

Critics, though, say the program is simply a cover to supply Japanese restaurants with pricey whale meat.

The dispute is beginning to dog Japanese officials internationally. Clinton brought up the conflict in talks Thursday with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Brunei.

Clinton told Mori the hunt could hurt vital U.S.-Japan relations, but he did not specifically mention sanctions. Mori answered in line with long-standing Japanese policy: that science, not emotion, should guide the discussion.

Clinton is expected to decide before leaving office in January whether to recommend that Congress impose sanctions, which could include denying Japan the right to fish in U.S. waters, or even stiffer penalties.

Japan Is Wary of Scrutiny In Shimonoseki today, speakers from the city government and the national Fisheries Agency praised the research, which Japan argues is needed mainly to monitor whale consumption of fish stocks. Materials handed out at the wharf included several photographs of opened whale bellies gorged with fish and squid.

Officials, however, are clearly sensitive to the foreign criticism. The Fisheries Agency in Tokyo, for example, refused to confirm the schedule of the fleet as late as Thursday afternoon.

Speakers today made frequent mention of the heat the program is taking abroad. They warned the crew several times before leaving to be on the lookout for anti-whaling groups who may try to interfere with the mission.

"Even if they protest, please continue with your work," said Seiji Osumi, head of the research institute.

Whaling opponents say the dispute has become such a nationalistic issue in Japan that they are reluctant to openly protest ceremonies like the one held today for fear of being dismissed as anti-Japanese.

"In Japan, it's difficult to explain why we're protesting the hunt," said Junko Sakurai of Greenpeace Japan. She stealthily handed a reporter her business card at the ceremony, worrying that officials nearby might hassle her if they knew she was an activist.

The fleet was led by mother ship Nisshin Maru, which features a basketball court-sized deck area for carving up the catch. Behind it at the dock was one of the hunting ships, with a harpoon gun mounted on its bow.

Carnival Send-Off The ceremony had a carnival-like atmosphere: Women presented officials with bouquets of flowers, and crew members handed out cases of beer, cracking them open and downing them to a cheer of "Kampai!"

A brass band played a marching tune on the wharf, and wives and friends waved farewell to crew members as they sailed off. Fireworks boomed in the overcast sky. Schoolchildren waved little blue flags with whales printed on them.

Despite all the controversy, whaling in Japan is not what it used to be. While whale meat was a key source of protein right after World War II, most Japanese rarely eat it now except as a delicacy in expensive restaurants.

"This business is on the way out. No young people are getting into it anymore," said Tadaaki Ito, 72, a whale-meat wholesaler who remembers the days when Japan took thousands of whales. "Mass production, mass sales - it's impossible now."

People in the crowd - most of them with husbands or friends going out to sea - dismissed all the criticism.

"I think it's good to do research," said a woman at the wharf who refused to give her name. "It's just a political problem."

Copyright ©2000 ABC News

WHALING COMMISSION DENIES JAPAN BID TO HOST TALKS

Compiled from Reuters, Kyodo

WASHINGTON -- The International Whaling Commission voted on Friday to deny Japan's request to host the group's next meeting amid continued threats of sanctions by the United States against Japan's whaling program. Nicky Grandy, secretary of the IWC in London, said the international body voted 17-10 by letter to hold the next meeting on Feb. 6-8 in Monaco instead, rejecting a rival bid by the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture.

Normally, the commission meets only once a year. The extra meeting in February is to discuss "the inspection and observation scheme that would have to be put into place if commercial whaling was ever allowed again," she said.

The IWC had earlier decided to hold its 2002 general meeting in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Japan has faced international criticism and possible U.S. economic sanctions over its decision earlier this year to expand its whale hunt to include Bryde's whales and sperm whales. Previously, it had killed only minke whales as part of what it says is a scientific research program.

The U.S. voted against holding the February meeting in Japan.

"We were pleased by the 17-10 vote and believe it reflects the concern of the majority of IWC members about Japan's lethal whaling program," a White House spokeswoman said.

On Thursday, President Bill Clinton urged Japan to curb its research whaling when he met with Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori at the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Brunei.

In September, Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta certified that Japan's expanded whale hunt this year undermined international conservation efforts.

That prompted Clinton to deny Japan future access to fishing rights in U.S. waters and also triggered a 60-day review that ended on Monday to consider additional action.

Beyond urging Japan to curb its whale hunts, Clinton has not yet said what other steps the United States will take to express its displeasure.

In a Sept. 13 memo to agencies charged with putting together a report for Congress, Clinton seemed to steer clear of prohibiting Japanese imports, as U.S. law would allow.

Instead, he asked the agencies to examine issues such as the importance of whaling to the Japanese economy and the adequacy of U.S. regulations to ensure that Japanese whale products do not enter the United States. *****

A WHALE THAT SWAM THE OCEANS FOR 211 YEARS

London Daily Mirror

They take life easy, sleep a lot, grow slowly and never swim faster than 4mph - no wonder they live to be more than 200.

Scientists reckon bowhead whales are the world's oldest animals after finding some were over 100 and one was probably 211 years old.

And they would probably still be alive today if they hadn't been killed by hunters.

Experts in Vancouver, Canada, looked at several bowheads whose remains were preserved after being harpooned between 1978 and 1996.

Using a new technique, biochemists looked at the frozen creatures' eyes and analysed the decay of proteins in the lenses to work out how old they were.

The oldest lived from about the time Mozart died until the birth of the Beatles and was the oldest mammal - and probably the oldest animal - ever found.

It rivals the 200-year-old giant tortoises and giant clams that hold the record for the longest lived animals.

According to experts the bowhead whales' secret to long life includes moving and hunting in groups.

They also sing warnings about pack ice to each other, seem to shun disease or parasites and are so resistant to cold that it is estimated they could stay warm even swimming in frozen liquid oxygen.

"The older guys are not only bigger but wiser," said Charles Krebs, a population ecologist who revealed the discovery in New Scientist. "They know where to look for food and how to avoid predators."

The research began after a harpoon head dated to the 18th century was found in one whale.

There were thought to be 65,000 bowheads before whaling drove them close to extinction.

Their numbers are growing again - in the western Arctic the 8,000 strong population is rising at about three per cent a year.

But in the east the 500 or more survivors are still in danger from legal hunters.

MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE USED THE ONE ON THE COVER OF 'ROLLING STONE'

"The President wanted to make sure before we closed out the meeting that he brought up whales. Quite frankly, the Sultan was waiting, and the two leaders in their nice blue shirts got up and went in for the picture."

Jack Pritchard, Special Assistant to the President, on why President Clinton didn't further pursue the issue of whaling with the Japanese Prime Minister

 


Japan's Dolphin Slaughter is On Again

Sea Shepherd International
October 23, 2000

The slaughter of dolphins by Japanese fishermen for sale to commercial markets for human and domestic animal consumption resumed this month.

Warned by the Japan Fisheries Agency to "keep dolphin killings out of public view," those conducting the "drive fisheries" at coastal towns once waited until after dark to herd dolphins into shore, trap them in nets and slaughter them, and claimed the dolphins had beached themselves. In October 1999, Japan's Whale and Dolphin Action Network (IKAN), caught a daylight dolphin drive on videotape at the port of Futo. When the tape was shown at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Adelaide, Australia, last June, the Japanese delegation walked out.

"Japan's dolphin hunt kicked into high gear in 1986, the year the ban on commercial whaling went into effect," said Paul Watson, president of Sea Shepherd International. "Japan is steadily hunting its coastal cetacean populations to extinction. By 1995, a single species -- Dall's porpoise -- was being taken at a rate of 17,000 per year. Hundreds of boats are licensed to kill, and they have severely depleted, in sequence, populations of striped dolphins, pilot whales, beaked whales, and Dall's porpoise."

The crossbow and hand harpoon fishery kills 10,0000-15,000 dolphins and porpoises annually. The drive fisheries, killing 1,000-2,000 dolphins, are driven by the dolphin captivity industry, which pays fishermen up to $30,000 each for a few live dolphins for aquariums and amusement parks, with the rest of the captured pods consigned to slaughter. The hunts take place every year between October and April. A recent Environmental Investigation Agency report revealed that Japan has killed more than 400,000 dolphins and small cetaceans over the last 20 years.

"There's no control and no enforcement," said Andrew Christie, information director for Sea Shepherd International. "Japan routinely ignores resolutions by the International Whaling Commission to at least reduce the slaughter to the point where its numbers do not threaten the existence of the targeted species. The federal government passes along responsibility for quota enforcement to the local prefectures where the drive hunts take place, and the prefectures pass responsibility to the fishing cooperatives, which consist of the fishermen who do the killing. They promptly report to the government that they are not killing too many dolphins."

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

Send a fax to Japan Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori: (0) 81-3-5511-8855
or send him an e-mail from this website: http://www.iijnet.or.jp/sorifu/kantei/foreign/comment.html

Fax the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC: (202) 265-9482

US citizens: Convey your support and thanks to Rep. Bill Delahunt, for introducing the resolution in the House of Representatives calling on President Clinton not to support Japan's bid to gain a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council unless it stops whaling. Urge him to add language opposing Japan's unsustainable dolphin slaughter. Congressman Bill Delahunt 1317 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-3111 Fax: (202) 225-5658 william.delahunt@mail.house.gov

 


Loggers Terrified by Topless Goddess!

Jane Kay
San Francisco Examiner
October 20, 2000

Topless terror.
"La Tigresa." Photo by HAVC.
First, Julia "Butterfly" Hill bedeviled North Coast loggers by perching in a tree for two years.

Now, poet-environmentalist La Tigresa is popping up bare-breasted at Mendocino County logging sites.

Billing her performance art as "Striptease for the Trees," La Tigresa started her topless crusade to persuade the timber workers to spare forests a week and a half ago. She surprises some at dawn with her wood-nymph attire, poems and songs.

"They stop their trucks because I'm bare-breasted. The poem keeps their attention. I want them to see in me an image of something beautiful, sacred and vulnerable - just like the Earth," she said.

La Tigresa, whose real name is Dona Nieto, has attracted national attention with her tactics. Jay Leno worked her into a Bill Clinton joke. Rush Limbaugh jeered her on his national radio show, which is very popular behind the Redwood Curtain in Mendocino and Humboldt counties where timber wars rage over where and how many trees to cut.

"I'm having my 15 minutes of fame," La Tigresa said. "But whatever it takes to get in the door."

On Tuesday, the Mendocino resident appeared on a weekly environmental show broadcast on KMUD radio, the grass-roots voice of the North Coast based in Redway in Humboldt County. She's featured on the Earth Films Web site. La Tigresa describes her acts as "very funny, very sexy, very environmental," but loggers have mixed reactions.

Work stoppage

Her first topless appearance was Oct. 10 at a Humboldt County site near McKinleyville. Hearing her chant, "see how the legs of any woman are the pillars of a temple, growing up like redwoods from their roots below ground," one man hid in the bushes out of embarrassment while another talked to her about her cause.

Another day she strolled onto a site near Westport in Mendocino County, again half-naked with flowers in her hair, and found two men operating heavy equipment.

"One man leaped off his loader, yelling Bible verses. He turned on Christian radio," she said.

She chanted, "Northern California is a country under siege . . . we're losing old-growth trees, the forests are being gobbled up by the corporation's greed."

La Tigresa, who declined to reveal her age, was born Donna Sue Scissors in St. Louis. She's lived most of her life in California, and now makes her home around Mendocino and Westport. She uses her former husband's surname.

Last year, La Tigresa, a writer and an environmental activist for several years, wrote a screenplay and a short story portraying the goddess, Gaea, the Earth Mother, walking on the Earth as a woman.

"Gaea has followers," she explained. "I saw them as Earth First, Birkenstock girls from Humboldt State University. They stopped the bulldozers by being naked and crying and praying. They sing songs to the men. In the face of that, the men cannot continue to destroy the Earth."

It's her story that she's now putting into practice.

One-woman show

In the summer, she performed a one-woman show, "Who Says A Stripper Can't Save the World?" at Active-fest, an environmental festival in the small Mendocino County town of Boonville. She billed herself as an "eco-tantric rap artist."

On Sept. 10, she performed at the Caspar Inn in the village of Caspar between Mendocino and Fort Bragg. "No, I was not naked. I had fishnet stockings and a bustier. I was covered with a plastic garbage bag," she said.

La Tigresa said that she - like Julia "Butterfly" Hill, who used the fragile butterfly image, "the feminine strength of the power of her vulnerability" during a two-year tree sit to protest the clear-cutting of old-growth forest - projects fragility. "But I'm also a tigress," she added.

Paul Mason, a spokesman for the Environmental Protection Information Center in Garberville, said he hasn't met La Tigresa yet. But he's heard her on the radio.

"Her poetry is pretty intense. I think it's a good way to think about some of those connections between the way we as a society treat the Earth and the way we treat women," Mason said.

EPIC and other environmental groups are awaiting court decisions over lawsuits filed against Pacific Lumber Co. and California Department of Forestry alleging that logging at various sites in Mendocino and Humboldt counties would harm endangered species and streams.

Art Harwood, president of Harwood Products, a family-owned sawmill in Branscomb, Mendocino County, had to laugh over the idea of women baring their breasts at logging jobs. He's heard there's more than one.

"I'm sure the men will stop working. But I don't know what they'll think," Harwood said. "On the one hand, the women are obviously getting lots of publicity. But on the other hand, I'm not sure how seriously anyone is going to take them.

"It actually is kind of fun. If it lightens things up a bit, there's nothing wrong with that." When there are naked women in the North Coast forests, "I'm sure all the tensions go away, and that's part of the deal," Harwood added. "If the loggers could get past the fact that they have a half-naked woman there, they'll probably engage in a meaningful dialogue. But she's going to have to get dressed first."

 


A Call to Action: Earth Day 2001

Andy Caffrey
Climate Action NOW!

Hi all,

Sorry this is a group letter, but I've worked with all of you before, we've talked or I'm an admirer of your kind of activism, and there are a number of you. I'd like to bring those eager to work on this project into the project as soon as possible.

First, have you even heard of the plan for Earth Day next year to have Seattle-type occupation actions in Detroit? The First International Day of Outrage Against Climate Destabilization. Year One's focus is a Day of Outrage Against the Auto. The message is Retool Now! to the best available technology, with a minimum fuel efficiency of 70 mpg. It is a call for a New Deal-type of Peace Effort to convert the transportation systems of the industrialized world away from fossil fuel sources ASAP. I'm working on developing a Retool Now! web site which shows various conversion, Ecocity, bioregional/watershed Regeneration plans. If you have seen the package Strider prepared of various subplans I've prepared, let me know, and I'll get it right to you. The major actions are likely to be Multiple Simultaneous Onramp Lockdowns by autonomous affinity groups. We actually tried the tactic out in Philly. You may have seen it on TV. Soccer games in the major intersections as well. We are also doing major outreach to labor, working with the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs. So we shall have a direct line to the UAW via the Steelworkers union organizers I worked with on the Kaiser Aluminum strike.

I'm not asking you for any kind of time commitment right now. Please just answer the relevant questions below or drop me a note. What I want to know is:

1) Does this project interest you in some way?

2) Do you want to work on it in some way?

3) Would you like to be part of the core group? The core group is based entirely around e-mail. So it essentially means, do you want to receive the e-mail of the core group, so that, if you see some aspect of the project that you can help or would like to get involved in, you'll know about it. There are no votes, so you can also be a lurker for the most part if you just want to keep abreast of the organizing effort. You don't have to take part actively in the discussions if you don't want to.

4) Is there any particular talent you have, or aspect of the project you might like to work on?

5) Would you be willing to take some flyers around your activist circuit to promote the event?

6) Would you be willing to help us get group or famous individual endorsements? If you are such a person, would you endorse this project? Please tell me how to title you if you send in an endorsement.

7) Do you know somebody I should be in touch with, who would really like to help out?

8) Do you think you might want to go to Detroit for next Earth Day? Or would you like to help organize a solidarity action in your region? No business as usual, and expressions of outrage toward the auto industry and their govt shills will be the appropriate tones for the project

9) Please let me know if you don't plan to be involved, but would like to receive the infrequent flyers and public postings or newsletters that may develop.

10) Do you know any funding sources we should be aware of? Can you help with a contribution? This is the key time. The moneyless time we wait for our first grant to be awarded. Don't feel bad if you can't. I'm just asking everybody. Checks can be made out to EF! Tax-deductible contributions to Earth Regeneration Society.

11) Do you want to promote something at the Conversion Fair to be held during the days leading up to the Earth Day protests? Do you have some materials on this issue, that I should post on the web site?

Thanks for your time, and the great work you do,

Andy Caffrey
Climate Action NOW!
http://www.efmedia.org/climate/default.html
climate@efmedia.org

To lend a hand and help organize Earth Day 2001 actions around the world against the autonomous, infernal-combustion motor vehicle, sign up for our Climate Crisis Action listserver: Send a blank e-mail to climatecrisisaction-subscribe@egroups.com

Please support these projects. Money, zip disks, cassettes and blank VHS tape really is needed. Please send to: Climate Action NOW! P.O. Box 324 Redway, CA 95560

Thanks!  


Orca-Live Goes Live

from Orcalab

Hello everyone,

Those of you who've been following the development of the "Orca-live" web site will be aware of the demo that's been on it since April, and quite possibly anticipating the "live" launch as eagerly as ourselves. It is now our pleasure to inform you that three days ago, at 4pm PDT July 31st, via satellite to Calgary & "land line" to Tokyo... & thence to the Internet... people around the world now have access to the sounds & images that have kept us enthralled here on Hanson Island for the past 30 years!

The Web address is: www.orca-live.net

The audio data are from a hydrophone network we monitor continuously, i.e. the underwater acoustic spaces of Johnstone Strait, Blackney Pass & Blackfish Sound. The video data are from our video station at Cracroft Point, where we've installed several underwater cameras that serve as "windows" into the ordinary life of a kelp forest that's on one of the main orca travel routes. We also use a surface camera there. The "live" feed is chosen from one of the cameras, i.e. is determined by what is happening at the moment.

You'll need at least a 56K modem to access the live streaming data (video & audio). A faster modem will produce a smoother video image. Access also requires you to have Shockwave & RealPlayer 2, both of which can be downloaded from the site.

The video image you'll see on your computer screen is small, but we hope it will be clear, and interesting. The audio quality should be acceptable to most ears, except during bombardment by boat noise! Being "live", of course there's no knowing what's going to happen, or when. Registered members will receive email "alerts" about imminent events, so if you're registered and happen to be connected when we send an alert message out, you'll be able to catch the drama of the moment. The launch time coincided with an energetic "rubbing" session at the Main rubbing beach inside the Ecological Reserve at Robson Bight. Numerous orca families have been spending time in our area lately, so there've already been many great acoustic moments for the audience... along with lovely underwater kelp forest images, great fish scenes & at least one seal cruising past a camera. The web site tracks & displays the number of people logged on, so you'll know the size of the audience you're sharing the experience with. The largest audience we're aware of yet is 49 but we expect it to grow as the word about "Orca-live" spreads. For the moment, the maximum simultaneous audience is 100, though it is quite possible more "bandwidth" will be needed to accommodate future interest. (The day after an initial press conference held in Tokyo to announce the idea of the project there were nearly 300,000 "hits" on the site).

It goes without saying that this complicated project would not be possible without extensive support from others, so we want to acknowledge our deep appreciation of the contributions of NTT DATA, NEUX, AXIS, J STREAM, PRO VISION and all the members of the wonderful team that has created & is handling the project. We're especially grateful for the inspired efforts of Soichi (Saul) Ueda. The satellite connection is being managed by Quicklink Communications, & we thank them also.

So, if you can, log on to www.orca-live.net... & tune into the world of Orca with us!

Our best wishes to you all,

Paul, Helena & Anna.

 


Japanese Begin Hunt of Protected Whales in Pacific

from Washington Citizen's Coastal Alliance

DEFIANT JAPAN TARGETS WHALES
(The London Times, July 30, 2000)

JAPAN defied international protests yesterday by sending ships on a mission to catch 160 whales, claiming it was for research purposes.

Critics say the two-month expedition to catch sperm and Bryde's whales is a cover for commercial whaling, which was banned by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986. A limited number of whale-hunting trips for research is allowed.

Both Tony Blair and President Bill Clinton have urged the Japanese government to abandon the expedition - with the White House saying that sanctions are a possibility.

Four Japanese whaling vessels have set sail for the northwest Pacific Ocean, according to Japan's Kyodo News agency, quoting officials from the fisheries agency. The report said scientists would examine the whales to collect data on their habitats and migration patterns - with the meat then being sold.

At the recent G8 summit in Japan, both Clinton and Blair urged Japan's prime minister, Yoshiro Mori, to cancel the expedition.

The World Wildlife Fund called for sanctions against Japan, saying the nation's research was merely a "guise" used to expand a banned commercial whale hunt.

Sue Fisher, of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, said: "Japan has made a defiant and aggressive move that, if unchecked, will lead to a further expansion of whaling."

The president of the International Fund For Animal Welfare, Fred O'Regan, said: "This decision is a slap in the face of Clinton, Blair and many others who have been working to persuade Japan to cancel its plans to kill more whales."

Japan killed more than 400 minke whales last year. Whale meat is a delicacy there, and oils from sperm whales are used in cosmetics and perfume.

ALBRIGHT BLASTS WHALING POSITION
(Asahi Evening News, July 31, 2000)

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Sunday threatened sanctions against Japan if its does not stop whaling.

During a 90-minute meeting with Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, Albright referred to the departure Saturday of a whaling fleet to conduct research in the northern Pacific Ocean.

She called on the government to summon the vessels back, saying whales are protected under U.S. law. Failure to do so would result in the United States issuing a statement of criticism about Japan's whaling practices, a Foreign Ministry official said.

Albright stressed that Washington would have no recourse but to take sanctions against Japanese products unless Tokyo stops the research.

``We are deeply troubled by what is happening. Whether it's for commercial or research purposes, it should not be happening,'' Albright told reporters after the meeting.

Kono promised Albright he would relay her concerns to Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.

JAPAN RISKING FOREIGN RELATIONS FOR WHALE MEAT
(New Zealand Herald, July 31, 2000)

The Prime Minister says Japan is damaging its international standing by forging ahead with its whale hunting programme. Japan has defied an International Whaling Committee resolution by announcing it will increase what it calls its "scientific-based" whale-hunt in the Pacific.

The exercise is expected to see the slaughter of 100 whales in the north Pacific region.

The whale species Japan is targeting are minkes, sperm and Bryde's whales.

Helen Clark says is ridiculous that Japan tries to justify the killing by claiming it is for scientific purposes. She believes Japan risks getting offside with powerful players by going ahead with the whale hunt. Clark says the United States is already considering sanctions against Japan. *****

HOPE-GEO Initiates Global BOYCOTT JAPAN Campaign
from HOPE-GEO

Minke whales, hundreds of which are being killed by Japan every year under the guise of "scientific whaling," are also called "cockroaches of the sea" by the fisheries minister of Japan.

"This is the worst case of adding-insult-to-injury I have ever seen," says Anthony Marr, founder of the Vancouver-BC-Canada-based Heal Our Planet Earth Global Environmental Organization - HOPE-GEO.

"Japan is the most powerful, most aggressive and most devious commercial-whaling nation in the world," continues Marr. "Its latest push includes an unethical and illegal global vote-bribing maneuver targeting a broad range of small countries and aboriginal tribes. Japan has pushed the weak-willed International Whaling Commission to announce a likely termination of the global commercial whaling ban, a ban that has been defied by Japan and Norway every year since its enactment in 1986. And now, they are going after the sperm whale and the Bryde's whale as well."

"If left unchecked, Japan can almost single-handedly restart global commercial whaling as early as 2001," warns Marr.

Concerned citizens, even world leaders such as Clinton and Blair, have tried to find a way to halt Japan's disregard for international law and agreements. Good people have written countless letters to the Japanese government and boycotted specific Japanese corporations that have connections to the whaling industry, all to no avail. Unfortunately, since Japan ignores the warnings of presidents and prime ministers, letters from individual citizens have no chance of being considered.

Therefore, HOPE-GEO has launched the BOYCOTT JAPAN campaign to bring about a global and long-term general boycott of all Japanese goods, regardless of whaling connections on the part of the individual Japanese corporations, until such time as Japan discontinues whaling.

The only petition the Japanese government can understand is if Sony, Toyota, Pentax, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, etc., as well as government accountants, all say, "Stop the minor industry of whaling; the major industries are taking a beating because of it!" YEN is the most powerful word in the Japanese language, as unfortunately DOLLAR is the most powerful word in ours.

HOPE-GEO calls upon all whale-lovers to forward this news release to as many people who oppose whaling as possible, worldwide.

"I realize that it is difficult to avoid the purchase of Japanese goods altogether, but I'd like all concerned people to constantly remember the whales when they go shopping, and to buy non-Japanese alternatives as much as possible. Let's all keep this up as long as Japan has whale blood on its hands," says Anthony Marr.

A worldwide BOYCOTT JAPAN DAY will soon be organized.

Contacts: Anthony Marr, HOPE-GEO, http://www.HOPE-GEO.org, 604-222-1169, Anthony_Marr@HOPE-GEO.org

JAPAN NOW A PIRATE WHALING STATE
from Sea Shepherd International

Today's departure of the Japanese factory whaling fleet for the North Pacific with the goal of killing 100 endangered Bryde's whales and sperm whales is an intolerable violation of international conservation agreements, and has placed Japan outside the circle of civilized nations.

"We do not recognize the technical loophole within the flawed Convention of the International Whaling Commission which Japan is abusing in the name of 'research,'" said Captain Paul Watson, President of Sea Shepherd. "The law is the law, and we are prepared to confront Japan on the high seas to enforce that law."... (More at www.seashepherd.org)

JAPAN WARNS AGAINST U.S. WHALE SANCTIONS THREAT
(AP, Tuesday, August 1, 2000)

Japan, the world's largest consumer of whale meat, defended itself today for pressing ahead with the hunting of whales and warned the United States against a move to take punitive action.

Denouncing a threat by Washington to impose sanctions as unwarranted, Japan said the United States would stand to lose a legal battle if it moved ahead with any retaliatory action.

"If the United States takes unilateral action, it is almost certain that Japan will win in the World Trade Organization (WTO)," a Japanese trade ministry official told Reuters.

"But it is all up to the United States as to what kind of punitive measures to take. We must wait and see," he said.

Washington stepped up pressure on Japan on Monday to call off a controversial whale hunt in the northwestern Pacific and threatened to impose sanctions if Tokyo pressed ahead with the expanded hunt that Japan says is for research purposes.

Under U.S. law, the Secretary of Commerce will review Japanese actions and make recommendations to the president, who could impose trade sanctions or other retaliatory measures.

"The United States has forcefully expressed its opposition to this new program at the highest level," U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker said on Monday. The Clinton administration could impose trade sanctions against Japanese fishery products and other goods, though U.S. officials said a number of non-sanction options were available.

Legal battle

Defying fierce opposition from the United States, Britain and leading conservationist groups, a Japanese whaling fleet sailed out at the weekend to hunt whales in the northwestern Pacific, including two species protected under U.S. law.

Officials of Japan's Fisheries Ministry stood firm and argued that the hunt would be part of their scientific research designed to gather information on the habitat, population, diet and migration patterns of the whales.

They said Japan had been conducting research whaling within the bounds of international law.

"The United States is renouncing its right to research whaling and blaming Japan. That is self-contradictory," Takaaki Sakamoto at the ministry's whaling section told Reuters.

Japan's Fisheries Ministry said the populations of Bryde and larger Sperm whales protected under U.S. law have recovered enough over the period in which they were not hunted to allow catches to begin again.

"We want to use marine resources including whales effectively while keeping them at sustainable levels," Sakamoto said. "We need to conduct scientific research to do that. But without hunding, such research is impossible."

Legal victory not enough

The Japanese trade ministry official said, however, that even a legal victory over Washington might not guarantee that Japan could continue to hunt whales.

"Even if Japan defeated the United States at the WTO, the dispute might not end because of the impact of international opinion," he said. Japan gave up commercial whaling in compliance with an international moratorium that went into effect in 1986 but has been carrying out what it calls "scientific research" whaling since 1987.

At an International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Adelaide last month, Japan and Norway blocked an attempt to establish an ocean sanctuary to protect whale breeding grounds in the South Pacific. In 1965, Japan caught a record 22,000 whales in coastal and Antarctic waters. The number fell to 2,700 by 1987, partly as a result of quotas set by the IWC and partly because of the availability of cheaper sources of protein.

After World War Two, the government rationed whale meat to help to save its starving people from malnutrition. But in the last decade or so, the plunge in supply and rise in prices has transformed whale meat into a gourmet food.

QUOTE: P.J., TAKE A LOOK AT THE MAKAH HUNT!
"While they are technically allowed under international law to do this, it's our view that the world is moving in one direction in terms of conservation and Japan appears to be moving in a different direction."

P. J. Crowley National Security Council spokesman  


Makah Issue Shakes Up Green Party

AUGUST 28, 2000

from Washington Citizens Coastal Alliance

PAY ATTENTION, NOW!

Since these updates are forwarded to many individuals, groups and discussion lists, we thought it appropriate to lead off by addressing those newcomers who still think that it's "OK for the Makah to hunt, since... they're doing it only for ceremonial reasons."

Take heed. Read. It takes a trivial amount of effort to browse the web and find dozens- if not hundreds- of references to Makah commercial whaling plans. Finding this one took us three minutes:

"It should be emphasized, however, that we continue to strongly believe that we have the right under the Treaty of Neah Bay to harvest whales not only for ceremonial and subsistence but also for commercial purposes....[O]ur decision to seek IWC approval for an INTERIM (emphasis ours) ceremonial and subsistence harvest only should not be construed in any way as a waiver or relinquishment of our treaty-secured whaling rights."

Letter from Hubert Markishtum (Makah Tribal Council) to National Marine Fisheries Service, May 8, 1995

SEA SHEPHERD RESPONSE TO "CANDIDATE FOLLOWS 'LAW OF THE LAND'" - Peninsula Daily News, August 28

We have a lot of sympathy for Winona LaDuke. Four days after issuing her error-riddled position statement backing the Makah whale hunt, wherein she scolded us for our "aggressive interference" in the hunt -- which (in an impressive calculation that she does not back up) "cost the US Coast Guard up to perhaps $5 million in expenditures" -- she now wishes to inform readers of the PDN that she "support[s] Paul Watson (of Sea Shepherd) and the things he does with rogue whalers." Well, thanks. "But," she adds. "I do not consider the Makah to be in the same camp as Japan or the Norwegians."

The point, of course, is that the Makah have every intention of joining that camp. News reports and government memos from 1991-95 (before the spin set in) have made the truth abundantly clear: The hunt was to be a commercial venture from the outset, and only temporarily transmogrified itself into a cultural revival when the feds told the tribe they couldn't legally go commercial right away. We note that Ms. LaDuke's defense of the hunt has now been reduced to a single, sterile contention: That the hunt is legal. This argument has grown progressively more absurd since 1997. Undertaken without the necessary recognition of aboriginal subsistence need from the International Whaling Commission, and now with the Environmental Assessment of the hunt's impacts thrown out by a federal appeals court, it would be hard to imagine how the hunt could be less legal. Any attempt at a hunt now would be a violation of both the National Environmental Policy Act and international law.

The IWC is the global authority for the regulation of whale hunting, and the Makah tried and failed to make their case there. The clause on whale hunting in the 1855 Makah-US treaty cuts no ice at the IWC, where, for the past three years, the US has been dodging its obligation as a Party to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, maintaining that it's okay to hand the Makah a unilateral whale hunt. (Challenge for an intrepid reporter: Call up the National Marine Fisheries Service and ask why former deputy commissioner Michael Tillman told U.S. allies at the IWC that the United States did not want them to carry through on their intention to bring up the Makah whale hunt at this year's meeting, and extracted the promise that they would not. Get a "confirm or deny." Report that story.)

We are informed by one of the hysterical little Internet hate groups that has popped up over this issue (one of those who concocted the "whale hunting = native sovereignty; opposition = racism, imperialism, terrorism" equation) that Ms. LaDuke fell under their sway in the course of drafting her original statement, and they are now trumpeting themselves as the source of the "information" on which the candidate based her position, driving a stake through the Green Party. That would explain it. The ongoing struggle over the return to whaling is global and complex, and Winona LaDuke, Ralph Nader, and Green Party USA reps have made it clear that they are not qualified to comment. To say that you will not oppose the Makah hunt until the factory ships, exploding harpoons, export permits, and briefcases full of cash show up in Neah Bay, is to say you will not act until it is too late. To undermine the IWC is to undermine the global protections for all whales. To permit this "one little whale hunt" that is neither fish nor fowl - a "subsistence" hunt that is neither necessary for nor definable as subsistence - is to doze off on watch, let the ropes go a little more slack, and let the tide start to pull the fragile vessel of conservation out into the storm, where the bringers of holocaust are ready to unleash it once again, and for the last time, against the largest and quite likely noblest creature that ever lived.

We wish the Greens all the best in the effort to recover their moral authority. In this election, if you know you're not likely to win, you might as well stand for something. And it should be something greater than an unwillingness to upset a coalition.

Andrew Christie Information Director Sea Shepherd International PO Box 2616 Friday Harbor, WA 98250 360-370-5500

ANOTHER RESPONSE SUBMITTED TO PDN

Dear Peninsula Daily News:

The Green Party can be counted upon to support the vulnerable against the rapacity and self interest of the more powerful, right? Sadly, not the Green Party-USA , whose Vice Presidential candidate Winona LaDuke supports the indefensible slaughter of whales by the Makah (who treated those honorable Makah who oppose the slaughter, to a taste of the violence they have visited upon the whales). The Greens have turned their backs on the whales and on one of their strongest allies, animal advocates. As reported in the Peninsula Daily News, Keith Johnson, head of the Makah Whaling Commission, had never heard of the Greens, but welcomes their support of Makah violence. For those of us who do not share Johnsonís ignorance of the party that was supposed to be a true alternative to government by and for the exploiters, witnessing the Green Party support the greed, lies, and cruelty of this hunt is a sad spectacle.

The Makah have attempted to justify this slaughter because Native Americans were historically victims of genocidal crimes by Europeans, who stole their homes, decimated their culture, and took their lives without remorse. This is, indeed, a shameful part of our history and needs to be addressed and atoned for, but not by repeating these crimes against those entirely innocent of any complicity, the whales. The Makah Whaling Commission are a gang of bullies. Instead of aiming their justified rage at those who have exploited their people and learning a lesson in compassion from having been victims, they follow the example of their exploiters - exploit and kill those who cannot defend themselves. To deflect criticism of this hypocrisy, they label those dedicated to stopping the circle of violence as racists. Are the Makah so blinded by their plundering that they cannot see that if we were all transported back in time, the present animal advocates would have been the ones risking their lives to save, not just animals, but Native Americans, while the Makah Whaling Commission would have been Custerís allies, committing violence in the name of tradition? What does it matter if tradition is killing indigenous people in the name of white culture or killing whales in the name of Makah culture? The mind-set is the same, only the victims differ.

Winona LaDuke has disgraced everything for which the Greens are supposed to stand. The Green presidential ticket is no longer a viable alternative to Gore/Bush. While LaDuke makes a distinction between commercial and ëí traditionalíí slaughter of whales, to the whales it does not matter if it is a Makah or a Japanese/Norwegian/Icelander who mercilessly kills her or her family. LaDuke also conveniently ignores the commercial whale killers backing of the Makah, as they know this will lead to a resumption of commercial killing of whales. LaDuke has stooped to lies (such as that the slaughter is IWC approved), despite the fact she is in possession of the facts, to support an action that cannot be defended.

For whale killing to even be a topic of debate (let alone considered desirable) by ANY people in the 21st Century, let alone the Green Party, demonstrates how little humans have evolved.

Since LaDuke supports tradition, ethics be damned, I can assume she also supports female circumcision, the killing of women for the crime of having been raped, the caste system in India, and the multitude of other atrocities committed in the name of tradition. To continue to cause suffering and death because it has always been done or, in the case of the Makah, to revive long dead moral crimes which we had hoped most humans had evolved beyond, cannot be justified on any grounds. Another LaDuke attempt at justification is that the whale killing is the ëílaw of the landíí. Thank goodness for people with the intelligence and morals to distinguish between legal and ethical or we would still have slavery and child labor in this country.

LaDuke said that Greens must tolerate diverse views or their numbers will not grow (apparently tolerating the views of those opposed to mindlessly causing suffering and death are not included here). Brent McMillan, facilitator of the Washington State Greens, stated there is no way he was going to let a little thing like massive cruelty against whales split up the unholy coalition between Greens and whale killing tribes. May I suggest that he also not let minor matters like racism, sexism, or corporate greed stand between the Greens and conservative Republicans. If the Greens choose to appeal to the lowest common denominator to assure support of their party, they should, logically, go all the way.

To give higher value to a "tradition" (one not needed for survival) of one culture over the very lives of individuals of another maintains the present hierarchy responsible for all of our preventable woes: white men at the top, animals at the bottom, with the top and everyone in between victimizing the animals. By supporting the hunt, the Greens are propping up the unjust power pyramid, instead of using their energy and supposed intelligence and ethics to topple it. Maintaining that animals exist only to support the greed of those above the animals on the pyramid keeps the pyramid strong and assures the continuation of all the other power inequalities within the pyramid. Shame on Winona LaDuke and the Green Party for their complicity in politics as usual.

Do you think LaDuke and McMillan would have had the audacity to tell Green supporters that even though the rights of women or blacks were excluded from the Green platform that we should be happy to agree on "75 percent of the issues"? While the excluded group, the animals, don't vote, those of who are committed to justice DO vote, and the Greens have, with the support of this slaughter, lost all claim to being a morally superior alternative to politics as usual. John Hagelin, anybody?

Susan Gordon New Jersey

JULY 24, 2000

from Washington Citizen's Coastal Alliance

The WCCA has been overwhelmed with e-mails and calls from Green Party supporters shocked and outraged at vice-presidential candidate Winona LaDuke's statement of July 24, in which she professes support for "the Makah's right to take whales under their treaty rights."

Many voters have contacted us with their feelings, a sampling of which we share with you here:

"I believe that LaDuke has forgotten that as a Green Party candidate she has a responsibility to provide clear and sound leadership. Does LaDuke also support continued Japanese whaling, in order that it may preserve Japanese culture?"

"In a recent ABCNEWS/Washington Post poll, it was found that when asked, 48% of Nader/LaDuke supporters said that there was a "Good Chance" they would change their minds before the election. You can now count me among that 48%."

"I had thought that the Nader/LaDuke campaign and the Green Party understood, as I do, the great value the lives of these creatures have. Sadly, I was wrong in the case of LaDuke. I sincerely hope that I am not wrong in the case of Nader and the Green Party."

"I was an enthusiastic supporter of [the Nader] campaign and of the Green Party. That is all at an end. I cannot vote for anyone who advocates murder of these highly sentient creatures by such a corrupt group as the Makah Whaling Commission (in contrast to the Makah Nation, many of whom condemn the hunt.)"

"I have been urging my friends and acquaintances to vote for Nader. I will rescind those admonitions and do everything I can to take votes away from your campaign. You have betrayed me and so many others who felt you were the environmental candidate."

"Giving a vote to Nader in these circumstances will be impossible for me and my family. The Green Party should be called the Red party in honor of the whales' blood that will be shed."

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

SEND A MESSAGE DIRECTLY TO RALPH NADER! We are asking each of you to write a short e-mail to Ralph Nader, the Green Party presidential candidate. In this e-mail, PLEASE share your thoughts on the Makah whaling issue with him- here are points you may emphasize:

1) Ask Mr. Nader to take the time to research the Makah whaling issue and learn the truth behind this trophy hunt.

2) Ask him to acknowledge that the Makah hunt is setting a dangerous precedent world-wide- the advent of so-called "cultural and traditional" whaling. Never has this been more critical than now, as Japanese whaling fleets ply the Pacific, Canadian groups plan to resume hunting "1000 whales a year," and dozens of other nations around the world await their turn to resume the slaughter under the guise of "culture" and "tradition."

3) Have him note the obscene amounts of taxpayer dollars used to fund this illegal hunt- $5 million and counting, as well as the outrageous conduct of the U.S. Coast Guard, who are operating as taxpayer-funded "hunting escorts" for the whalers, and are employing LETHAL FORCE against non-violent protestors.

4) The hunt is illegal! It has NEVER been sanctioned by the International Whaling Commission, violates federal and state law, and flies in the face of world-wide public opinion.

5) WE WILL NEVER STAND DOWN, and WE WILL NEVER ACCEPT, the killing of whales in the waters of Washington State- and more shockingly, within the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary- a place now so defiled as to make a mockery of the word "Sanctuary."

TIMING IS CRUCIAL! It is VITAL that your e-mail be sent TODAY! Please take a few moments to write Mr. Nader, and send your e-mail to nader2000@nader2000.org

You can cc: Paul DeMain, Ms. LaDuke's campaign manager, at: nficlet@cheqnet.com

And don't forget to send a copy to the Green Party USA, at: gpusa@igc.org

Please write TODAY, and pass this alert on to as many others as possible! YOUR E-MAIL is of the UTMOST importance!

JULY 25, 2000

from Washington Citizen's Coastal Alliance

USA GREEN PARTY AND RALPH NADER SUPPORTS WHALE SLAUGHTER

US Green Party vice-presidential candidate Winona LaDuke stated today to anti-whaling activists that "she has made it clear that she supports the Makah's right to take whales under their treaty rights." Winona LaDuke is the running mate of presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

The statement from Paul DeMain, LaDuke's campaign manager, comes over a year after the Seattle Green Party convened to consider the issue. They were unable to even bring a meeting to order. Last month, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals brought a halt to the hunt, finding that the federal government had violated its own laws in its rush to approve the hunt.

LaDuke's statement added "she suggests that the focus of attention should be aimed at environmental factors that might continue to limit the opportunity for whales to re-establish themselves at previous levels, degradation of habitat, etc., including the use of military sonar, etc., that has allegedly caused several dozen whales to beach themselves and die in the last year alone."

Contrary to LaDuke's statement, at least 278 beached or floating dead gray whales were reported last year, and more than 300 have been reported so far this year. With the increased deaths came a dramatic drop in births, to 282 this year from a high of 1,520 in 1997. Scientists are not yet able to determine why this is happening.

The Green Party champions ten key values, one of which states that "Green ecology moves beyond environmentalism by understanding the common roots of the abuse of people. Whatever we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves."

The Washington Citizen's Coastal Alliance reacted strongly to LaDuke's statement. "Apparently, the slaughter of defenseless gray whales within the waters of a National Marine Sanctuary does not rate high enough to be included in their definition of the "web of life," said Dan Spomer of the WCCA. "We are increasingly distressed at the ability of the Green Party to even identify the facts surrounding the ongoing slaughter, let alone make a coherent policy decision."

"Previously, political candidates at least made an attempt to educate themselves on this issue before issuing a statement," Spomer added. "We invite Ralph Nader to visit the Olympic Peninsula, witness a gray whale being blown apart with an anti-tank weapon and tell us just how this fits into his claim of being able to 'solve our problems and diminish our injustices.' Ralph Nader has said that 'a progressive political party is most authentic when it connects with or arises from citizen movements and does not forget where it is coming from or the reason for its being.'"

"But given our experience with the Green Party and their inability to make the hard decisions, it seems quite obvious that they will never be anything more than a politically-correct dog and pony show."

"It's truly a shame that while hundreds of gray whales die under mysterious circumstances and their birth rate plummets dangerously, the Green Party's answer is to continue the slaughter."

========================

Protest this cruel and misguided pro-whaling slaughter nonsense. Send a humane e-mail plea to US Green Party Presidential Candidate, Ralph Nader and ask him to stop his party's support for the slaughter of whales!!! mailto:campaign@votenader.org

And please pass this message on to friends who may send a similar message, whether you live in the USA or another country. The Green Party has to learn the truth about whale suffering.

AUGUST 3, 2000

Dear Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke,

This writer was a personal witness to a Russian harpoon boat spearing a Sperm whale some fifty feet in front of my zodiac. I watched and listened as the dying whale emitted horrible, piercing screams into the air as it turned on a dime and charged head first into the steel hull of that killing ship. It was one of the most evil things I have ever seen in my life. It is at least as awful as the murder of a human being. I hope that the Green Party of Ralph Nader reconsiders this reckless and foolish statement by Ms. LaDuke. There is absolutely NO satisfactory reason for the Makah to be hunting such warm-blooded animals as the defenseless whales of the Pacific. The idea that "history" allows this shamless activity then suggests that on the merit of "history" one can turn to Leviticus in the bible and see that Indians, the Makah, should equally accept their destiny as the slaves that the bible demands of them. I doubt they would care to repeat that segment of "history." Murder is murder - of humans and of higher animals.

Robert S. Rodvik -- robrod@uniserve.com

 


News of Ocean Defense International's Clash with the Makah Whalers

  • Listen to "Yabis Our Beloved" from Wendy Harford's album Pathway of the Giants, the only all-whale CD, in RealAudio. (Order from Wendy Harford, Box 74, Roberts Creek, BC V0N 2W0.)
  • Read another Makah story in the Rag Baby Magazine.
  • For the other side of the story, visit the Makah website.

APRIL 21, 2000

HUNT UPDATE
from Washington Citizen's Coastal Alliance

Route of the gray whale
The gray whale undertakes the longest yearly migration of any animal on earth: a round trip of over eight thousand miles per year. The whales migrate from the Bering Sea and Arctic waters down to the waters off Baja California and back. They need the colder, richer waters of the Arctic for summer food, and the warmer, though less rich, waters of Baja California for birthing. After giving birth, mating occurs in the shallow warm water lagoons of this area.
-- from Mind in the Waters, Joan McIntyre, ed.
The hunt continues. Unbelievably, after the use of deadly force and serious injury of ODI crewmember Erin Abbott, the US Coast Guard is still escorting the Makah whaling team out further to sea. ODI vessels are still shadowing the Makah whalers and their escort, and vessels from the West Coast Anti-Whaling Society are enroute from Victoria, BC.

Erin Abbott is listed in "satisfactory" condition at a Port Angeles hospital after the ramming by a Coast Guard ship. ODI crewmember Erin O'Connell was also arrested, and her jet ski was confiscated as well. We don't have further information on her status at the moment, but will update you when we do.

Calls are still needed! Demand a halt to the hunt! Here are the contact numbers we have for the U.S. Coast Guard:
(206) 220- 7235
(800) 982-8813, extension 7235
(360) 645-2236 extension. 37

Also, calls are needed to Rep. Norm Dicks' office. After all, this is happening in HIS district. Ask him to demand an immediate halt to the hunt, and an investigation into the outrageous Coast Guard behavior this morning and earlier this week. You might also ask him to make a statement as to why he took over $11,000 from Makah lobbying firm Denny Miller and Associates in the last few years. He has a lot of questions to answer regarding his involvement in this issue!

Norm Dicks' phone number: (800) 947-NORM (6676)

Please let us know the responses you get from these offices

STATEMENT FROM REP. JACK METCALF (R-WA

APRIL 20, 2000

"I have opposed the taxpayer-funded Makah whale hunt since it was first proposed. In fact, I have filed a lawsuit to stop the hunt, which is still being considered by the courts.

Everyone who understands this issue knows that the Makah hunt is the first step toward returning to the terrible commercial exploitation of these marine mammals. In its April 17 issue, Newsweek magazine reported on steps being taken by whaling countries to reopen this barbaric, outdated practice. When the Clinton-Gore administration financed the Makah whale hunt and colluded with the pro-whaling nations of the International Whaling Commission, our nation's government lost its moral authority to lead the fight against killing whales for profit. This was truly a tragedy.

I believe strongly in the right of free expression of opinion guaranteed by the Constitution. I also believe that the current circumstances surrounding the hunt are endangering human lives. I find it unbelievable that the Coast Guard felt the need to ram the craft of one of the anti-whaling protestors. At the same time, all of our laws must be obeyed.

This incident underscores the intensity of emotions felt by parties on all sides of the issue. I urge the Coast Guard to call a halt to the hunt until my lawsuit is settled. A delay would give law enforcement officials time to reevaluate their tactics to ensure the protection of all human life."

STATEMENT BY SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY

April 20, 2000

WHALE HUNT MUST BE HALTED WHILE COAST GUARD ACTIONS INVESTIGATED
Boats rammed, activists injured by USCG vessels as whale is harpooned

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society joins other whale activists in calling for the immediate suspension of the Makah Indian tribe's whale hunting agreement with the US government while the aggressive actions of the US Coast Guard at the site of the hunt are investigated.

A Coast Guard vessel struck a jet ski outside Neah Bay, Washington, this morning, running over the vessel and leaving activist Erin Abbott in the water for several minutes before picking her up. Abbott was air-lifted to Olympic Memorial hospital with a shoulder injury.

Abbott was maneuvering between the hunters and the whale, and effectively prevented a lethal harpoon strike on a Gray whale. On Monday, the Coast Guard repeatedly rammed and seized a World Whale Police vessel. Crewmember Julie Woodyer, a director of the Vancouver Humane Society, was thrown to the deck and knocked unconscious. She was treated for back pain at a local hospital and released.

The Coast Guard has imposed a $250,000 fine and up to six years in prison for violations of a 500-yard "exclusion zone" around the hunters by activists attempting to prevent the killing of whales. Several activists have been arrested for violating the zone and their vessels seized.

Contrary to early media reports, the whale Abbott was protecting was not killed. The harpoon fell out and the whale escaped before hunters were able to bring their customized .50-caliber rifle to bear. After running over Abbott and her jet ski, the Coast Guard radioed an Ocean Defense International vessel on the scene that they intended "to be more aggressive" in enforcing the exclusion zone, reported ODI crewmember Tami Drake-Miller.

"The Coast Guard needs to brought under control," said Sea Shepherd president Paul Watson. "Their determination to enforce an illegal hunt and help the Makah kill whales has escalated to the point of injuring activists on the water. The hunt must be suspended immediately and a full investigation of the USCG's actions initiated."

The US Department of Commerce obtained an aboriginal Gray whale quota from the International Whaling Commission in 1997, but avoided a ruling on the Makah's eligibility to hunt under the conditions of aboriginal subsistence whaling as determined by the IWC. The US Administration's unilateral assignment of the quota to the Makah without that determination by the IWC constitutes a violation of international conservation law. *****

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND CONTACT NUMBERS, VISIT:

http://www.stopwhalekill.org

A summary of the day, April 21, 2000:

No activity by Makah whalers- ODI vessels on full alert as they patrol the waters off Neah Bay, activists turn up the heat on land. Seattle-area media FINALLY starting to ask the hard questions about the illegal nature of the Makah hunt. Keep encouraging them to do so! Contact information is available at www.stopwhalekill.org

CONTINUE TO TURN UP THE HEAT ON REP. NORM DICKS (R-WA) Call 1-800-947-6676 and demand that Congressman Dicks launch an investigation into the U.S. Coast Guard abuses taking place RIGHT NOW on protesters. DEMAND an IMMEDIATE halt to the Makah hunt!

PROTESTOR FOILS GRAY WHALE HUNT BY U.S. TRIBE

Friday, April 21, 2000 By Scott Hillis (REUTERS)

Whale hunters from the Makah Indian tribe Thursday harpooned a gray whale,but failed to capture it after a protester riding a personal watercraft foiled the hunt that has pitted tribal rights' supporters against environmentalists trying to protect the giant beasts.

A family of eight Makah paddling a hand-carved cedar-log canoe off Washington's Olympic Peninsula stalked and speared the whale, which would have been the second taken by the tribe since the 1997 lifting of a 70-year ban imposed to halt overharvesting.

But the Makah's prey escaped when an activist with the pro-whale group Ocean Defense International charged the canoe on a personal watercraft, swamping the hunters with a wave of seawater.

The activist, who violated a U.S. Coast Guard-imposed 500-yard exclusion zone around the Indian vessel, was arrested after a 23-foot Coast Guard boat plowed her watercraft under the surf as she prepared to make another pass at the Makah canoe.

Environmentalists criticized what they said were heavy-handed Coast Guard actions that would all but guarantee a successful hunt.

"We came out here to do our best, but it's pretty much inevitable because they have the Coast Guard and the government using violent tactics to aid them in killing these great whales," said Jake Conroy with Ocean Defense International.

A Coast Guard spokesman defended the tactics, saying the collision was accidental and that the activist had clearly endangered the hunters.

"Obviously she was within inches of this canoe, much less 500 yards away," said Chief Warrant Officer Chris Haley. "She chose to do that, fairly flagrantly, and her actions were fairly reckless, to come in and zoom along this canoe. She chose to swamp this vessel."

The protester, Erin Abbot, was treated at a nearby hospital for a shoulder injury, Haley said, adding that a second activist on a personal watercraft was also arrested for breaching the exclusion zone.

Keith Johnson, president of the Makah Whaling Commission, branded the tactic a "dangerous, dangerous move," but vowed that it would not deter the tribe from the hunt.

"We don't want anybody to get hurt," Johnson said. "Our men are trained to fight the elements and make sure they are ready to present themselves to the whale so the whale will present itself to the crew and give up its life."

The Makah, a Washington state tribe that claims whaling rights from U.S. treaties dating back to 1855, are allowed to hunt whales under a 1997 International Whaling Commission decision that lets the tribe kill 20 whales over five years.

They killed their first whale last May after prowling the seas for a week. The carcass was hauled ashore and butchered, and the meat distributed free of charge to the 1,600 Makah members.

The Makah insist they have no plans for commercial whaling as some activists have alleged, and say the hunt is vital to their tribal traditions, although some details of the hunt are unmistakably modern.

After plunging a steel-tipped harpoon into a whale's back, the hunters finish it off quickly with a powerful .577-caliber rifle - a hunting method deemed more humane than those used decades ago.

The gray whale, like many other whale species, was hunted to the brink of extinction in the early part of last century, leading to a hunting ban in the 1920s.

The gray whale was removed from the U.S. endangered species list in 1994 after the population climbed back above 20,000.

HUMANE SOCIETY STATEMENT

SUS DECRIES U.S. COAST GUARD'S USE OF FORCE AGAINST WHALE ACTIVISTS

WASHINGTON (April 20, 2000) -- The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than seven million members and constituents, is strongly criticizing the U.S. Coast Guard for injuring an animal rights activist protesting gray whale hunts by the Makah Indian tribe in Neah Bay, Washington.

Today, a protester on a jet-ski was run over by a U.S. Coast Guard boat, rescued and flown to a local hospital with a shoulder injury. The protester interrupted a hunt in progress preventing a successful attack on a gray whale. The Coast Guard has imposed a fine up to $250,000 and six years in prison for violating a 500-yard *exclusion zone* around the hunters. The Coast Guard is providing protection for the Makah during the hunts and has resorted to force to prevent interference, including ramming protesters boats. According to reports, another activist suffered minor injuries on Monday, April 17, after a Coast Guard vessel rammed a protest boat. In addition, several activists have already been arrested for violating the zone and their vessels seized.

"While we recognize that the actions of the protestor violated the Coast Guard's exclusionary zone, the reaction of the Coast Guard personnel was uncalled for," said Naomi Rose, Ph.D., marine mammal scientist for The HSUS. "The Coast Guard has a duty to protect, not endanger, lives."

Patricia Forkan, HSUS Executive Vice President, added, "Neither the Makah whaling crew nor the protester were endangering human lives. Has this situation become so politically divisive that people would find it acceptable for the Coast Guard to add to the violence instead of to diffuse it? To run over defenseless protestors?"

In a 1997 backroom deal with the Russian government, the U.S. delegation to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), under orders from the Clinton/Gore Administration, secured to the Makah a share of the Russian Chukotka natives'; IWC gray whale quota -- 20 whales through 2004 with a maximum of five per year. The Makah have said that five families may seek hunting permits this year, to take the maximum number allowed under this arguably illegal arrangement.

The HSUS condemns the whale killing as a senseless, inhumane tragedy that is a devastating loss in the name of "tradition." Makah representatives had sought for years to resume whale hunting, a "right" they feel is guaranteed to them by a 1855 treaty with the United States government.

The centuries-old tradition ended in the 1920s when commercial whalers hunted the grays to near extinction. Attempts to revive the ancient practice have divided the Makah leadership. Despite the internal divide, Makah hunters killed its first whale in 70 years last May. In recent years, gray whale stocks have rebounded, leading federal officials to remove them from the Endangered Species List in 1994. Gray whale populations worldwide are estimated at more than 23,000.

However, in recent weeks, 30 gray whales have washed ashore dead along their migration route on the North American Pacific Coast. Last year during the gray whales'; migration the death toll was 273, according to reports. While scientists are unsure what is causing the death of the whales, it is another indicator that the gray whale should be protected and not subject to slaughter.

ANOTHER PLACE TO TURN UP THE VOLUME

GAO "Fraudnet" a place to file allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, and misuse of government funds.

http://www.gao.gov/

You can either use their form or send email or a fax. You can file a complaint about the Coast Guard being used as the Makah îprivate navy.î Demand an investigation! Another point to raise is that there is no oversight or supervision of the Makah Whaling Commission and the receiving and using of taxpayer funds to illegally kill whales.

TAKE PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A land protest is scheduled tomorrow here at Sekiu. Take the time to come out and see us! Protest begins at 1:00pm- feel free to show up early. Now is YOUR chance to stand up, speak out and be counted!

LETTER FROM BREACH MARINE PROTECTION TO US COAST GUARD

Rear Admiral J. David Spade
Coast Guard Commander
Thirteenth Coast Guard District
915 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174

21st April 2000.

BY TELEFAX AND OVERNIGHT MAIL Fax: 001 (206) 220-7265

Dear Rear Admiral Spade,

On behalf of Breach Marine Protection's world-wide membership, particularly those who are U.S. citizens, and seamen from every country, we must protest in the strongest possible terms about the actions of the Thirteenth District of the U.S. Coast Guard.

As we already informed you on the September 8, 1998, BMP believes the establishment of the 'Coast Guard Rule' that provides for an exclusion zone around Makah whaling boats in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary to be in violation of several federal laws including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Marine Sanctuaries Act (MSA). We also believe the enforcement of this 'Rule' is a blatant violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution by denying whale advocates the right to engage in free speech and to peacefully assemble and protest at the site of the killing. But as of the 20th. April 2000, the U.S. Coast Guard has escalated these illegalities to a height beyond belief.

By a U.S. Coast Guard vessel running down a jetski in Neah Bay on that day, and the ramming of another boat earlier in the week, the deliberate and premeditated flaunting of the Inter-Government Maritime Organisation (IMO) International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (1977), to which the U.S. is a signature, by vessels under your command has stunned the maritime world. We will be sending a copy of this letter to the IMO asking for action to be taken against you under these regulations.

In the following, note that the use of the word SHALL means that it is mandatory under these Rules to do so. As you are well aware, the IMO Regulations state categorically:

Rule 1. a) These Rules shall apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by sea going vessels. b) c) d) & e) all deal with exceptions to the Rules, but none of these sub-paragraphs exempt your exclusion zone from IMO Rules and certainly does not exempt your employee's actions.

Rule 2. a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by any special circumstances of the case. You are equally responsible with your Government and your employees for their actions.

Rule 3. For the purpose of these Rules, except where the context otherwise requires: a) The word "vessel" includes every description of water craft, including non-displacement craft and seaplanes, used or capable of being used as a means of transport on water. b) The term "power-driven vessel" means any vessel powered by machinery. i) The term "underway" means a vessel that is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground. The jetski and other boat your vessel ran down is covered by these Rules. So are your vessels.

Rule 4. Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and the risk of collision. If you claim your vessel's captain did not see the vessels he/she rammed, both you and him/her are still negligent.

Rule 6. Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing conditions. In determining a safe speed the following factors shall be among those taken into account: a) By all vessels: (ii) the traffic density.. (iii) the manoeuvrability of the vessel (yours) with special reference to stopping distance and turning ability.. If your skippers are so incompetent not to know their own vessel well enough to avoid two other vessels in one week, it still does not exonerate you from responsibility. If they are competent, their actions must be deliberate.

Rule 7. a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate.. to determine if a risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist. d) In determining if a risk of collision exists the following considerations shall be among those taken into account: (i) such a risk shall be deemed to exist if the compass bearing of an approaching vessel does not appreciably change (and the range is decreasing); We must assume that your vessels have compasses fitted and your crews know how to read them.

Rule 8. a) Any action taken to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship. d) Action taken to avoid collision with another vessel shall be such as to result in passing at a safe distance. e)If necessary to avoid collision or allow more time to assess the situation, a vessel shall slacken her speed or take all way off by stopping or reversing her means of propulsion. By any stretch of the imagination, the term "good seamanship" cannot be applied to the crew(s) of your vessel(s) who deliberately ram boats or rundown power vessels.

Rule 14. a) When two power vessels are meeting on a reciprocal course or nearly reciprocal courses so as to involve the risk of collision each shall alter her course to starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of the other. b) Such a situation shall be deemed to exist when a vessel sees the other ahead or nearly ahead.. c) When a vessel is in any doubt as to whether such a situation exists she shall assume that it does exist and act accordingly. Even if you claim to be the stand-on vessel in these or any other circumstances, if the other vessel does not conform to these Rules, that non conformation does not exonerate you or your vessels from responsibility to take avoidance action (Rule 17. a)(ii),b) d)). Something, it seems, your vessels did not attempt at all.

Rule 34. a) When vessels are in sight of each other, a power driven vessel underway, when manoeuvring as authorised or required by these Rules, shall indicate that manoeuvre by the following signals on her whistle: -- one sort blast to mean "I am altering my course to starboard"; two short blasts to mean "I am altering my course to port".. etc. There are no reports from Neah Bay to indicate your crews conformed to this Rule. Even the police, before taking any action that may injure or endanger life as your crew did by deliberately running down a jetski are required BY LAW to give due warning of their actions.

It seems to us that in your haste to carry out your Government's wishes to placate the Makah Indian Tribe by allowing them to slaughter whales within a Marine 'Sanctuary', the U.S. Coast Guard Thirteenth District has decided that they are above the law.

Yet another area the U.S. Coast Guard has acted illegally is that after the harpooning of the gray whale on that day, your vessels still carried on 'protecting' the Makah hunt. Under the terms of the whaling permit issued to the Makah, the following applies:

A whaling permit shall expire when any one of the following events occurs: (1) the whaling team lands a gray whale; (2) the whaling team strikes a gray whale but is unable to land it; (3) the whaling team returns to port after a whaling expedition in which no gray whales have been struck; (4) the whaling team fails to initiate a whaling expedition within 72 hours after permit issuance; or (5) the Council determines, for any reason, to terminate the permit.

'Strike' means any blow delivered to a whale by a harpoon, lance, rifle, explosive device or other weapon which results or is likely to result in death or serious bodily harm to the whale.

Under item (2) above, the permit expired when the whale escaped. This means from then on, the Makah were hunting without a permit, with the Coast Guard alongside as a accessory during in this illegal act.

The actions of your Command has brought a once globally respected Service into disrepute. IMO involvement will hasten that slide. But as seamen, you leave us no alternative but to report your District's appalling actions. The U.S. Coast Guard built its reputation on saving life, not attempting to kill, nor protecting those that would kill. We are extremely saddened that the actions of your Command has brought this Service to the depths it now occupies in the eyes of the world.

We insist that you immediately instigate a public enquiry into your employee's conduct of this past week and stop your bias towards the Makah whalers forthwith. That way, you may yet do justice to the many thousands of brave men and women that have served the U.S. Coast Guard so admirably in the past.

Sincerely,

David Smith
Campaigns Director
Breach Marine Protection

cc. Inter-Government Maritime Organisation

Breach Marine Protection is an International environmental organisation based in the UK. BMP was the main instigator of the lawsuit brought against three named defendants all of whom are employed by NOAA and NMFS for their part in authorising Makah whaling (Metcalf v. Daley) and has opposed this illegal since 1995. This lawsuit is now under appeal in the US 9th Circuit Appeals Court. BMP was banned from the IWC meetings last year because of its opposition to Makah whaling. A full copy of BMP's 1998 letter objecting to

the Coast Guard Rule which 'protects' the Makah is available from this e-mail address.

Breach Marine Protection
3, St. John's Street
Goole
E. Yorkshire
DN14 5QL
UK
Tele: +44 (0)1405 769375
Fax: +44 (0)1405 769439
24hr. R.E.D.R.Res Hotline: 0973 898282

APRIL 22, 2000

MUST SEE web-site: Late news report from KOIN-TV, Portland, Oregon, including video, can be viewed at:

http://www.channel6000.com/news/stories/news-20000422-010949.html

ERIN ABBOTT UPDATED INFO

ODI crewmember and fallen comrade Erin Abbott remains under armed guard at Olympic Memorial Hospital in Port Angeles, Washington. She is in "stable" condition, with a broken shoulder, possible fractured ribs and reported lung injury. Seattle media report that she will be kept at the hospital at least through the weekend.

KING-5 television conducted a telephone interview with Erin this evening. She sounded tired, and admitted that she was still in pain. The interview ended when Coast Guard personnel took her phone away from her. All activists on scene here in Sekiu remain outraged at the brutalization she suffered at the hands of the US Coast Guard.

Please keep Erin in your thoughts- those of here in Sekiu think of her 24 hours a day, and hope that she will be allowed to be visited by her comrades very soon. She has been unable to be visited by anyone since being run down by a Coast Guard ship on the open sea.

APRIL 23, 2000

ACTIVISTS TAKE PORT ANGELES BY SURPRISE
Saturday protest catches law enforcement agencies off-guard

With the Makah whalers taking the day off, the regularly scheduled Saturday protest here in Sekiu went off without a hitch: with one exception.

Instead of the usual drive to Neah Bay, activists headed the other way and staged a quiet, peaceful demonstration at the Olympic Memorial Hospital in Port Angeles, where Erin Abbott remains under the watchful eye of armed Coast Guard personnel.

Attempts to deliver an Easter card to Erin from her grandmother were deterred by Coast Guard personnel, and no one was allowed to visit her. So dozens of protestors instead placed themselves outside with signs of support for Erin. It is our hope she will see local newscasts this evening and see the outpouring of concern and admiration from on-scene activists and local residents.

We ask one question: What business does the U.S. Coast Guard have stationing armed personnel in a civilian hospital? You might ask your congressional representative this question...

FROM WHALE RESEARCHER PAUL SPONG (www.orcalab.org)
April 22, 2000 (Earth Day)

MAKAH "HUNT" RESUMES WITH ATTACKS ON PROTESTERS & WHALES

Hello everyone,

Many of you are aware of the ugly situation that has developed in Neah Bay, Washington State, over the past few days, so please excuse any duplication. The situation that has developed around Makah whalers' attempts to kill gray whales is, in our opinion, so serious that it needs to be known widely and protested vigorously. Below, we have some specific suggestions as to how you can become involved, but first want to tell you what has happened.

In two separate incidents, the US Coast Guard (USCG) has attacked and injured protesters. The first incident was on April 17th, when a vessel belonging to the World Whale Police was rammed by a hard-bottomed USCG inflatable. The unprovoked attack was so violent that the inflatable broke windows and ended up on the roof of the protest vessel. A Canadian crew member, Julie Woodyer, was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital. Fortunately, her injuries were not serious. The second incident occurred on April 20th, when a USCG vessel ran right over a protester, Erin Abbott, on a jet ski. Her collarbone was broken in two places; she also suffered cracked ribs and has leg and hip injuries. Erin is lucky to be alive.

Thanks to the protesters, no whales have been killed yet. One was struck by a harpoon, but escaped with unknown injuries.

To us, the legal situation surrounding the issue of Makah whaling is very clear. It is illegal. The only "law" applicable is that of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which has been given the responsibility, by international agreement, for regulating whaling. THE IWC HAS NOT APPROVED MAKAH WHALING. We cannot emphasise this fact enough. It is beyond our understanding that most of the media continues to accept the lie of the US government... proving, we suppose, that a lie told often enough, if it is big enough, will be accepted as truth. The gullibility of the mainstream media over this issue is disconcerting in the extreme; the tone of coverage of the Makah whaling issue is a very bad sign for the future of freedom of expression.

Twenty-five years ago, when the first Greenpeace "Save the Whales" voyage took place, protesters who put their bodies between harpoons and whales were widely regarded as heroes. Now they are vilified, assaulted, and arrested as criminals by the nation that was once the biggest defender of whales. We note that neither Russia nor Japan have used deadly force to quell protests against whaling. Today, the USA uses deadly force casually, as a matter of course, as though it is an ordinary route to resolving disputes. Our belief, as ever, remains that tyranny will fail in the end: ANY WALL CAN FALL.

SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION:

Despite the feeling of futility many of you must be experiencing, there are numerous ways in which you can express your opinion about this issue, and several ways in which you can help directly:

1. Call your local media (tv, radio, & newspaper). Tell them what's happening & ask them to cover the Makah whaling story. Suggest they contact IWC Secretary Dr. Ray Gambell & ask whether the IWC has given the US/Makah permission to kill gray whales. The contact address & #s are: ; Tel +44 (0) 1223 233971; Fax +44 (0) 1223 232876.

2. Call media in the Seattle area. Ask for the News Desk or complaint line. Tell them to cover both sides of the Makah whaling story. Ask them why they do not state that the IWC has not given the Makah permission to kill whales. Tell them to contact IWC Secretary Gambell (above) to get the facts. Here are some Seattle #s:

KOMO TV: 206-443-4000
KIRO TV: 206-728-7777
NW Cable News and KING TV: 206-448-5555
Seattle PI - Reader Representative Line: 206-448-8051
Seattle Times - Reader Response Line: 206-464-3310

3. If you're a US citizen, call your congressional representatives and tell them what you think. The U.S. Capitol # is: (202) 224-3121.

4. Contact Coast Guard Admiral James M. Loy by telephone at 202-267-2390. Ask him to control USCG actions at Neah Bay and launch an immediate investigation into the incidents on June 17th & 20th.

For international calls, the US country code is "1".

5. Donate money. Call Olson's Resort and Marina in Sekiu, Washington, at 1-360-963-2311. Use your credit card to make a donation towards fuel and room rental to the groups involved in the protest.

6. Vote! Go to the following address, and cast your vote (currently 65% oppose): http://www.seattleinsider.com/news/2000/04/10/whalepoll.html

7. If you're outside the US, call or fax the US embassy or consulate nearest you. World wide information for US representatives is at: http://www.embassyworld.com/embassy/directory.htm The instructions are fairly simple to follow, but do take time. It's probably best to connect to "consular" in the main menu for a particular location. It might be faster for you to call telephone directory information & get the phone/fax numbers there. A fax addressed to the U.S. ambassador or consul will probably get the most attention.

8. Demonstrate! Even one sign outside one US government office will be noticed! If you can mount a demo outside a US embassy, consulate, trade mission or other agency, no matter how big or small, do it! Call the media & ask them to cover your protest.

We'll try to keep you informed about further developments, but you should be aware that this situation is likely to continue for some time. FIVE Makah families have stated their intention to kill whales this year!

Our thoughts are with the whales, who's innocence in this sad affair cannot be questioned, and with the people who are trying to help them.

Please get involved, however you can! Paul & Helena. OCEAN DEFENSE INTERNATIONAL UPDATE
Saturday - 4.22.00

I have been talking to Erin Abbott 3 - 4 times a day. I spoke with her last night and she told me that she is only allowed to talk to her lawyer now. With some quick talking I got by the nurses and coast guard and managed to talk to her for a few minutes before my cell phone battery died. She said she was still in pain constantly. She had some tests run and she is in satisfactory condition. Her shoulder is broken into two pieces, with the pieces overlapping one another. She described it as " my left shoulder blade doesn't stick out from my back anymore, like it normally should." She also has 3-4 fractured ribs, and they were monitoring her to make sure her lung doesn't collapse from the cracked ribs. She was going to undergo neurological exams but may need to be transfered to a Seattle hospital to do so. It was her understanding she will be in the hospital for the weekend and arraigned in court on Monday. SO MAKE PLANS TO BE IN TACOMA ON MONDAY!! She has been unable to see anyone, and if the court house is packed, she will be so happy. I have also set up an email account for her, so if you would like to send her some support, you can do so by emailing her at erinabbott2000@hotmail.com

Please keep the pressure on - that includes making phone calls, emails, protests, what ever you can do. Important phone numbers to remember:

U.S. Coast Guard 360-645-2236 Makah Tribal Council Offices 360-645-2201

As for Ocean Defense Int'l, we will continue to be patrolling the waters. Since Christianity plays a big role on the reservation we don't anticipate them hunting on Easter - but that won't deter us from being on the water. If the weather is right, keep your eyes on the news Monday morning.

As always, Ocean Defense International is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to ending the destruction of marine life, on all levels. We cannot run this campaign without your help. We need financial support primarily to fuel our vessels and jet skis. This is crucial. Please help in any way you can by calling and donating funds with a credit card by calling Olson's Marina at: (360) 963-2311
or by mail at:
Ocean Defense International
c/o Olson's Resort
444 Front St
Sekiu, WA 98381
(360) 963-2311

Thanks again for all your support!!
Jake Conroy

APRIL 24, 2000

UPDATE: No hunting by the Makah today. Rising wind and an incoming weather system MAY rule out any hunt through the end of the week. Regardless, ODI patrol vessels will be out each and every day.

It is being widely reported that injured activist Erin Abbott will be arraigned in the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma at 2:30pm today. Please try to get there and show your support! It is advised that you get there early, as they may try and hold the arraignment as early as possible.

ITEMS NEEDED

Pre-paid AirTouch cellular phone cards, easily purchased at any convenience store or grocery. Available in $20, $50 or $100 amounts, simply scratch off the access code on the back of the card and e-mail that code to dano@rockisland.com! It's an easy way to help us!

Have any jet skis or boats that need to see some action? Contact us!

SEATTLE NEWSPAPER: "THUMBS DOWN" TO MAKAH HUNT

"...Thumbs down for another whale hunt by a Makah family at Neah Bay. Once again the event is stirring strong emotions between tribal members who see in this a return to part of their history and groups protesting the killing of these magnificent creatures. It's a shame that 79-year-old heritage must be revived today."

-- Eastside Journal- Bellevue, Washington April 24, 2000

FROM WEST COAST ANTI-WHALING SOCIETY

There will be a meeting of the West Coast Anti-Whaling on April 26th at 6:00 pm at the Whale Store in Victoria, B.C. The Whale Store is at 532 Broughton Street (between Government and Wharf).

Refreshments and snacks will be available. All are welcome who want to try to put an end to the whale hunting in Washington and British Columbia.

Please pass this message on to anyone who may be interested! Thanks Anna Hall

FROM PROJECT SEAWOLF
The OTHER side of the illegal Makah hunt

I've learned today through the High North Alliance that the Chukotsky people of Siberia finally resumed their killing of bowhead whales last November, as the first of the 5 whales they were granted through the IWC's Makah/Yupic Eskimo trade deal was successfully brought into shore.

This whale was taken by Jandraginot whalers -- probably the same individuals whom I documented hunting gray whales a few summers back. This is a great setback for whale preservation efforts, particularly since there is absolutely no monitoring of kills/misses/lost whales, etc. in this remote and politically inaccessable frontier part of Russia's newly independent states.

The US's legacy in violating CITES and other whale protection has been cast in stone. The trade of this whale represents the United States' success in making an end-run around the IWC and other international agreements, since the US have now effectively traded the right to kill an 'endangered' whale species to a foreign government -- and they seem to have gotten away with it.

It seems the pendulum is rapidly swinging back against the world's whales in a steady fashion.

Michael Kundu
Project SeaWolf
P.O. Box 987, Marysville, WA 98270
Visit our homepage at...
http://home.earthlink.net/~projseawolf/ecos.htm
Be sure to visit our ECOS site if you're planning an eco-tourism or adventure trip to the northwest!

APRIL 25, 2000

No Makah whaling activity today. Weather is extremely unstable, with very heavy seas and high winds. We love it!

GOOD AFTERNOON, PAUL SHUKOVSKY! Pro-whaling apologist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer claims "tacit" IWC approval for Makah hunt. Perhaps this will jog his memory...

The Times (London)
Saturday September 5 1998
Editorial

Whaling Wall - The Makah do not have a "special case" for hunting

What would happen if the peoples of every nation were licensed to practice their ancestral habits? Danes would take boat trips to Scotland to rape and pillage. Londoners would create traffic havoc by driving sheep across Tower Bridge. And President Clinton would be expected to exercise droit de signeur over all internees.

The world would mill in a state of social tumult similar to that which will be seen in microcosm next month when, in an extreme northwestern outpost of the United States, members of the Makah nation take to the seas for a whaling expedition amid flotillas of irate conservationists.

The history of the Makah tribe, now numbering some 18,000 members and mainly confined to the remote Neah Bay area of Washington State, is steeped in epic tales of whale hunts. Whale flesh was once a staple of Makah diet and, when their tribal lands were expropriated in 1855, elders signed a treaty with the Government providing for the continuance of ancestral customs. Shortly afterwards, however, finding commercial sealing more lucrative, they almost abandoned whaling.

And since then, as cetacean populations dropped to dangerous levels, America became a signatory to the 1946 International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW).

The ICRW still allocates a whaling quota to indigenous communities whose subsistence or culture depends on it. Russian Inuits can kill 140 gray whale a year. But the British Government, along with most other signatories to the ICRW, does not consider the Makah to hold a valid claim. More than 70 years have elapsed since their last whale hunt. Only a handful of elders recall it, and even fewer can remember traditional recipes for whale meat. When a whale drowned accidentally in Makah nets a few years ago, most of the flesh was dumped.

The gray whale, which the Makah are now intending to hunt, was almost extinct by the end of the last century. Its removal from the endangered species list five years ago bears testament to the rigorous conservation efforts. Yet this cetacean is still insecure. Of the three lagoons off the Mexican coast where it gives birth, two are already disrupted by the Mitsubishi Company's industrial-scale salt production and the third is now threatened. The last whale's migratory routes up the West Coast are imperilled by heavy shipping, oil exploration and seismic testing.

The Makah people appear willing to adapt to the modern world when it suits them. Next month, rifles and motorised boats rather than traditional techniques will be used to hunt the gray whale. The US Government should capitalise on this willingness by encouraging their plans to invest in aquaculture.

This sidestepping of the ICRW sets a dangerous precedent, without compelling justification for doing so.

PRESS RELEASE FROM AUSTRALIANS FOR ANIMALS

Questions to the Media on the Makah Hunt.

* What is the difference between Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd actively protesting and intervening with the Japanese and Norwegian ships killing whales and the demonstrators protesting the Makah ?

* Why does the US media continue to insist that the Makah kill is an IWC sanctioned kill when the documentation clearly and irrevocably demonstrates this is not the case..

* Why isn't the US media asking instead the reasons behind the Clinton Administration flouting the IWC by creating its own recognition of whaling that does not abide by any category of IWC legal whaling ?

* Why isnt the US media demanding to know the international ramifications of the United States of America becoming a whale killing nation ?

* Why is the US Government allow the killing of gray whales when they are dying in their hundreds of starvation ?

* Why isn't the Clinton Administration calling for a halt to any killing and taking immediate steps to investigate the obviously serious environmental problem which exists and is demonstrated by the ongoing deaths ? In any other western country, the death of over 300 emaciated whales would be regarded a national environmental disaster.

* Why is the Clinton Administration allowing the US Coast Guard to behave like terrorists, deliberately injuring and placing at risk the lives of protestors who have a democratic right to save whales.? ( See Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd for the last 20 years).

* Why is the US media continuing to ignore the facts surrounding the Makah tribe's dreadful move back to the Dark Ages ? ( See reporting of the lawsuits).

* Why hasn't there been one single investigative piece which demonstrates the links between the Makah tribe and powerful Japanese whaling interests?

* Why would the most powerful nation on earth stand back and allow the deliberate slaughter of the only whale species on planet earth who comes to boats and allows people to touch them and their young ?

These are the questions that all aware and responsible people are asking. The US media has a responsibility to answer.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Times change and we have to change with the times," Ben Johnson, Makah Tribal Chairman April 21, 2000 (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

APRIL 28, 2000

SEKIU, Washington: No hunting yesterday, none today: the weather has been foul, and seas running heavy. ODI vessels will be on patrol this weekend, and we continue to bring as much light to bear on this illegal hunt as possible. Below, a few items, bits and pieces. And, as always, get the DEFINITIVE word on this hunt at the best web-site out there:

www.stopwhalekill.org *****

ITEMS NEEDED (REPEAT)

Thanks to those of you have send us pre-paid AirTouch cellular phone cards. We need several more! These cards are easily purchased at any convenience store or grocery.

Available in $30, $50 or $100 amounts, simply scratch off the access code on the back of the card and e-mail that code to dano@rockisland.com! It's an easy way to help us! Just make sure they are AIR TOUCH CELLULAR cards...

Have any jet skis or boats that need to see some action? Contact us! Any dry suits you're not using? CONTACT US!

PROTEST THIS SATURDAY!

The Peninsula Citizens for the Protection of Whales will be hosting a protest this Saturday. Meet at "The Rock" in Sekiu, WA at 12:30pm. A car caravan will make its way to the Makah Reservation, where we will no doubt be turned away yet again. Come and be a part of our community!

Contact: Chuck Owens (360) 928-3048

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Spiritual kinship with whales borders on religious practice

Setting up an arbitrary exclusionary zone around Makah canoes so they can hunt whales is tantamount to assigning them public waterways for strictly religious purposes. If they need to demonstrate their spiritual kinship with whales by slaughtering them, it transcends a cultural practice and becomes a religious one.

There are stranger religions, more violent religions, religions that apparently require animal sacrifices, but in this country -- where there is supposed to be a separation of church and state -- the welfare and sensitivities of the general public aren't blatantly, egregiously and unconstitutionally compromised. At a time of the year when we are reminded of some of this country's worst mass and serial murders, why is it necessary to revive killing whales -- barely off the Endangered Species List -- as a positive, fun thing to do?

As for the Coast Guard ramming the personal watercraft, the video clearly demonstrates ample opportunity for the boat to avoid hitting it.

Kurt Warner
LETTER TO THE EDITOR- PART 2

Whale of a deception

Dear Editor,

While families of gray whales follow their ancient migration route north, the Makah tribe, with the aid of the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Marine Fisheries Service, are gearing up for another "ceremonial" hunt. They hope to re-create the horrific scene played out last May, when a young female gray whale was harpooned and shot to death. After a 20-minute struggle her lifeless body was dragged to shore behind a diesel-powered commercial fishing boat.

Japanese whaling interests are currently touring the globe in an effort to recruit new countries into the International Whaling Commission, secure their votes and stack the deck to repeal the moratorium on commercial whaling at the next IWC meeting.

Far from being impertinent to Japan's commercial whaling design, both the Makah and their relatives, the Nu cha Nulth of Canada's Vancouver Island, have repeatedly stated they eventually hope to sell whale products commercially.

U.S. whaling delegates played into the hand of Japan's commercial agenda by proposing a new category of "cultural" whaling. However, the IWC has never officially awarded the Makah their own quota nor acknowledged the Washington State tribe's subsistence need for whale meat.

What was sold to the public as a virtuous effort to re-establish a people's identity through the return to whale hunting can now be seen as part of an intricate plan that could bring about the resumption of wholesale commercial slaughter of gray whales.

Jim Robertson
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: THE FINAL WORD

Love for whales makes it impossible to approve of hunt

I remember last year the Makah claimed that we who were opposed to their whale hunt just wouldn't understand. I am a 14-year-old who has tried hard to understand things from their point of view, but I can't see how killing a whale would prove anything except that because they have the "right" to do something, they feel a compulsion to do it.

Maybe the truth is that the Makah don't understand. They wouldn't understand how I, and the protesters, felt when they killed the whale last year. They don't know how much we love the whales. They didn't see me crying in front of the TV when I came home from school that day. They haven't had the same nightmare for days about whaling. The problem with whaling is that you can't do anything. The Makah don't understand the frustration. I know people in Japan and Norway kill whales. I know that there isn't anything I can do about it, but we have a constitutional right to object to the Makah.

What makes this so hard is that it is right here. The only good thing about whales being killed elsewhere is that I don't hear about it. I want to believe that if we could stop the Makah, we would have enough self-esteem to end all whaling.

So maybe we don't know what it feels like to kill a whale, and we don't want to. Maybe we don't know about their culture, and maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe all that matters is the love for the whales that the Makah don't have.

Lauren Burton
THE MORALS OF CULTURAL RESTORATION

By Andrew Olivo

In the quest to revive a ravaged culture, is it necessary that every custom be maintained? According to Mohandas Gandhi, the answer is unequivocally "no." Though Gandhi worked to reawaken India and free her from British imperialistic rule, he also worked diligently to end the ancient Indian tradition of "untouchability." Gandhi did not cherish this ancient practice of prejudice simply because it was ancient. He was convinced that only nonviolence could restore dignity to his ransacked culture, and that cruelty toward any living being would set him back on his noble cause. "I would much rather Hinduism dies," he said, "than untouchability lives." He knew his culture was on the brink of being annihilated by outside forces, but he also knew that not every practice destroying his society was imposed from without.

When trying to revitalize a culture which has been exploited and devastated by imperialism, what better example to follow than Mr. Gandhi? Indeed, his wisdom has sustained and impacted many of the world's great leaders. Such leaders being: Martin Luther King JR, Cesar Chavez, Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama, to name but a few. I wish the leaders of the Makah tribe would also look to Gandhi for guidance.

The Makah plan not to employ the art of nonviolence to heal their besieged culture, instead they will use a .50 caliber rifle. In a statement clarifying their unique plan for cultural rejuvenation by way of whale hunting, the Makah leaders have stated: "Whaling had been a tradition of the Makah for more than 2000 years. We had to stop in the 1920s due to the scarcity of gray whales. Their all-time abundance now makes it possible to resume the hunt. Many of us also believe that problems besetting our young people stem from lack of discipline and pride. We believe that the restoration of the whaling will help to restore that discipline and pride."

But what the Makah leaders have left unclear is just how exactly this whale hunt is to restore discipline to the lives of their children, since the most Makah children have to do with this hunt is to stand on the beach and watch. And how is it going to restore pride to their lives when it has subjected them to international controversy, countless legal battles, daily protests from animal-rights activists, and the ridicule of many politicians and ecological foundations? If disciplining their children is the priority, than isn't resurrecting this custom beside the point? Wouldn't it be more productive to devote energy to the creation of better schools, hiring of better teachers, and perhaps counselors?

Instead of such straightforward and logical approaches, the Makah have subjected the children of their tribe to a hateful controversy, and, by enlisting the protection of the U.S. Coast Guard on their hunt, have cost the American people hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. So whaling is no longer only a part of their tradition, it is now a part of every American's culture because we are paying for it. This is why it is not at all culturally insensitive for me, a non-Indian, to state my opposition to a hunt I am helping to finance.

Do we owe it to the Makah to foot the bill for such unique attempts at instilling their children with self-esteem? And if so, will our help even make a difference? According to Malidoma Some PhD, African Shaman from the Dagara tribe and author of The Healing Power of Africa, the answer would be no: "When one culture embarks on the endeavor to preserve another, it is already too late. For my tribe it is no longer a question of maintaining our traditions, but of surviving." Like Gandhi, the Dagara have decided to forsake certain customs.

And though Gandhi's work threatened to alter the very fabric of his country's cultural life, the Indian people so deeply respected his devotion to peaceful social reformation that they conferred upon him the title of "Mahatma," meaning "Great Soul." Such titles have not been bestowed upon Alberta Thompson, a 74-year-old Makah elder who opposes the whale hunt. In a statement delivered to the International Whaling Commission, Mrs. Thompson describes the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her tribal community: "I have been vilified and slandered on the Internet and in newspapers. The tires of my car were slashed with a knife while I was shopping at the grocery store. While I was away last August, my six-year-old dog was found dead one and a half miles outside of Neah Bay. She was an indoor dog, and never ventured further than across the street. Last year, the (Tribal) Council attempted to cut off my senior citizen's monthly stipend. The Chairman directly stated that this was done because I opposed the whale hunt."

Since respect for the elders is the foundation upon which traditional American Indian culture is built, after learning of the way Mrs. Thompson has been treated I am left to wonder if cultural restoration is the prime motive behind the whale hunt. Mrs. Thompson asserts that not only is the motive not traditional, the hunt itself is not done according to tradition: "The claims that this hunt is being carried out as a matter of tradition are false. The hunters are supposed to spend an entire year physically and spiritually cleansing themselves, yet one was recently found guilty of driving under the influence; another is on probation for assault and has routinely sworn at me, indicating that he is far from a cleansed spirit. From the moment it was proposed, this has never been a traditional hunt."

So it is quite clear that at least in the case of Alberta Thompson this hunt has not brought tribal pride and cultural awareness, but pain and suffering. And with the example that has been made of Alberta Thompson, is it any wonder why few other tribal members have voiced an opposition to the hunt? It has become obvious that the Makah are not motivated by a desire to rebuild their community, but are using the whale hunt as a thrill-kill and a means of justifying an aspect of their culture that can be found in other nations as well, intimidation and cruelty. It's sad that an innocent whale has to give up its life to feed people who now buy their meat at the grocery store, just like every other American.

It's unclear what the Mahatma would think of the situation with the Makah, I don't think anyone ever asked his opinion of "cultural whaling." But I do know how his grandson, Arun Gandhi, feels about the hunt. In a personal letter that I quote with his permission, my friend Arun told me, "No one can justify the actions of the Makah tribe. No one can claim the right to kill as part of their culture. The sad thing about human nature is that the more you tell a someone not to do something, the more they will want to do it."

This is why I do not waste my breath trying to tell them they should leave the poor whale alone. And this is why I wish the Makah would find their way to the philosophy developed by my friend's grandfather. If they did, they would be on the road to true restoration, unencumbered by the controversy of killing a helpless whale.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I am unalterably opposed to the U.S. Coast Guard being used against U.S. citizens for the benefit of a sovereign nation.

The framers of our Constitution, fresh from the abuses of British soldiers, wrote a uniquely powerful document that stands alone throughout the world. I cannot imagine that our living Constitution was meant to empower our current president, who cannot claim the honor of having served in defense of his country, in this outrage."

Rita Nalette, Seattle (Seattle Post-Intelligencer letter to the editor)

APRIL 29, 2000

ODI vessels on patrol today: no activity reported. -Land protest today at 12:30pm. Meet in Sekiu!

The following article calls into question Makah Tribal Chairman Bender Johnson's claim that the Makah intend to target "a big one" this spring. Indeed, the evidence suggests that from this point on, the tail end of the migration includes only gray whale MOTHERS WITH CALVES

MAKAH WHALE HUNT: ARE THEY KILLING WHALES FROM A LOCAL SUB-POPULATION?

By Dr. Jim Darling

The primary biological issue surrounding the Makah whale hunt is whether the 20-30 whales allocated to be killed or injured over a five year period are to be taken from the smaller summer resident population(s) of 35-200 whales, or randomly from the eastern Pacific heard of 25,000 animal as was presumably intended by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and described to the public.

Since the 1970's I have studied the population of 35-50 gray whales that reside along the south central west coast of Vancouver Island each summer. These whales leave the northern migration from Mexico to the Arctic seas in spring, stay in the region for 8-9 months feeding, then join the winter migration southward. This population consists of both sexes, and both adult and very young animals. Many of the same individuals return each summer; that is, this area is a home summer range to a specific group of whales. Some adults have returned each year for at least 25 years.

The Vancouver Island situation appears typical of summer resident gray whales found from Northern California through S.E. Alaska. We also do not know whether these whales travel and mix randomly throughout the entire region, or if there is a series of sub-populations that tend to home in on specific sections of coast. This is the reason for the wide population estimate: there may be as many as 200 or as few as 35 whales that range through the hunt zone between migrations.

The U.S. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared prior to the U.S. government advocacy of Makah whaling to the IWC did not address these summer resident populations. Much later, the U.S. government acknowledged the existence of these resident whales. It was only then the U.S. government and Makah Whaling Council responded by stating that they would only hunt migrants, thereby solving the problem.

However, to date the scheduled hunts have not coincided with the migrations. Although numerous scientific studies clearly show that the southern winter migration passes the Vancouver Island-Washington coast after early December (with the peak around Christmas or New Years), the U.S. government opened the hunt on October 1st last year. Any whales taken before December would very likely have been summer residents.

The spring, northward migration come in two waves. By far the majority of whales pass from late February to the end of April with the peak from mid-March to mid-April. A SECOND SMALLER WAVE PASSES THROUGH MAY AND EARLY JUNE AND CONSISTS ALMOST ENTIRELY OF COWS WITH NEWBORN CALVES. (Emphasis ours) Summer resident whales are present in the region by early April. Yet the whale was killed in mid-May.

If migrants are to be targeted, the timing for the hunt is obvious: mid- December to mid-January: late-February to end of April. Equally obvious is the fact that to date the hunt has not occurred anywhere near peak migration times. It's a little like declaring you want to catch someone in the morning rush hour but not trying until 11 AM.

In sum, the odds are very high that any whales hunted between May and December will be summer resident-whales that behave differently than the rest of the herd, and reside along our coast. Hunting the residents will not threaten the entire gray whale herd, but it may well threaten the resident population.

Next season will determine the credibility of the hunt managers. The issue should be re-opened at the International Whaling Commission with full information available to all delegates. Clearly, killing or injuring ("landed or struck") 20-33 whales out of a population less than 200 is different than taking them out of a herd of more than 25,000.

It is indeed unfortunate that Canada is not a member of the IWC-and refuses to join even after repeated requests from that organization to do so. The population at risk straddles the U.S./Canada border. It is, among other things, the "resource" for a significant whale watching industry, bringing millions upon millions of dollars into small B.C. communities. The IWC is the forum in which Canadian interests can be represented.

Jim Darling Ph. D. is with the West Coast Whale Research Foundation.

Dr. Darling is a marine mammal biologist specializing in the behavior and ecology of whales. Although his research has taken him worldwide, he makes Tofino British Columbia His home. He has authored numerous scientific publications, popular articles and books, and produced documentary films. His articles have appeared in journals and publications ranging from the Canadian Journal of Zoology and Marine Mammal Science to National Geographic. Dr. Darling was the originator and associate producer for Island of Whales, a one-hour television documentary which won Canada's prestigious Gemini Award for best television documentary of 1991.

Some of Dr. Darlings recent work with humpback whales can be seen in the July 1999 edition of National Geographic Magazine.

MAY 1, 2000

No hunting activity today: Makah whaling team members are reportedly subpoenaed to testify in Scott Hopper's trial (from his whale protection efforts last year), which begins today. The weather has improved, but is forecast to deteriorate again Wednesday night.

Still needed: AIR TOUCH CELLULAR PRE-PAID PHONE CARDS! Buy one, grab the code off the back of the card, and e-mail it to dano@rockisland.com

Below, a wonderful article by ENN, and several other items.

LEGALITY OF MAKAH WHALE HUNT A GRAY AREA

Saturday, April 29, 2000 By Lucy Chubb, ENN News

The Makah Indian Nation of Neah Bay, Washington, abides by a tradition of spiritual preparation before embarking on a whale hunt. "The sea provides a natural atmosphere to send prayers to the Creator," said Dan Greene, a member of a recent hunt. "We are a spiritual people."

For the second successive year, members of the Makah Indian Nation this month embarked on a hunt for gray whales off the coast of Washington. And for the second year in a row, the legality of the hunt is causing heated debate and radical action.

The Makah maintain that their right to hunt gray whales is spelled out in a treaty with the U.S. government drawn up in the mid-19th century.

"Under the treaty made by the United States with Makahs in 1855, the United States promised to secure to the Makahs the right to engage in whaling," the Makah web site notes. "The treaty, which was ratified by the United States Congress in 1855, is the law of the land under the U.S. Constitution and has been upheld by the federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. "

"The treaty language is crystal clear," said Brian Gorman, public affairs officer for the U.S. National Marine Fisheries.

Conservation groups fighting to stop the whaling claim the Makah are acting illegally because the tribe has not received permission from the International Whaling Commission to hunt gray whales.

"To us, the legal situation surrounding the issue of Makah whaling is very clear. It is illegal," said Paul and Helena Spong of Orcalab, a whale research station on Hanson Island in British Columbia, Canada. "The only 'law' applicable is that of the International Whaling Commission which has been given the responsibility, by international agreement, for regulating whaling. The IWC has not approved Makah whaling."

Ocean Defense International, a group that is actively trying to halt the hunt, shares this view. "IWC did not sanction the hunt," said ODI representative Jonathan Paul.

The Makah killed one whale during last year's hunt in Washington state. Based in Great Britain, the IWC is an international coalition of countries that oversee the whaling industry. When the commission was established in 1946, whaling was legal. The original purpose of the group was threefold: to conserve whale stocks, develop the whaling industry and take into account the consumers who use whale goods.

"The job of the IWC was to conserve whale stocks with a view to making the largest possible catch," said Martin Harvey of the organization. "But the emphasis has moved from catching whales to conserving them."

The method by which the IWC conserves whale stocks is by establishing quotas. "IWC is only permitted to set total catch limits," said Harvey. Countries with quotas are responsible for any legal situations that might arise from their whaling, he said.

The IWC had long protected the gray whale, according to Harvey, after overhunting had reduced its numbers drastically to less than 2,000 animals. Russia's Chukotka tribe, which lives on the Siberian coast, was allowed to hunt whales and assigned a quota through the Russian Federation.

In the past several decades, gray whale numbers have recovered to an estimated 21,000 individuals. The animal was removed from the U.S. endangered species list in 1994.

In 1997, the United States on behalf of the Makah and the Russian Federation on behalf of the Chukotka proposed a catch limit that, between the two countries, would not exceed 140 whales per year for the years 1998 through 2002, and no more than a total 540 during that period.

The whales that the two tribes were to hunt come from the same migration corridor in the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

"At our annual meeting in 1997," said Ray Gambell, secretary of the IWC, "after extensive discussion, the IWC granted the catch of gray whales requested."

The United States and the Russian Federation agreed that the Makah could have 20 whales out of the five-year limit, said Gorman, with a catch of no more than five whales per year over that period.

The schedule for the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling states that the taking of gray whales is permitted "when the meat and products are to be used exclusively for local consumption by the aborigines whose traditional aboriginal subsistence and cultural needs have been recognised." The wording has since been updated but the essence of the decree remains the same.

The issue now is whether this language constitutes "approval" for the Makah to take gray whales.

"This decision implicitly recognized that the Makah Indian Tribe would want to utilize part of this quota," said Gambell, "since the IWC received the needs statement and supporting arguments from the government of the USA on its behalf. However, you will not find anywhere a formal statement from the IWC that the Makah whale hunt is legal, since it has not made such a determination."

Gorman asserts that the IWC's inaction to change catch limits after last year's gray whale kill by the Makah constitutes consent for the take of gray whales.

"There is thus a de facto acceptance of this hunt as falling within the IWC's requirements for aboriginal subsistence whaling," he said, "but with a degree of hesitation by some of our members as reflected in the discussions which took place in setting the original catch limits. It was precisely for that reason that the recognition of the aboriginal subsistence character of the hunt was left deliberately vague, with the onus ultimately falling on the government of the U.S.A."

Spong does not buy this argument. "No matter how much some maintain that the IWC gave ... permission by stating that it's up to the parties to settle issues that arise over quotas, the fact remains the IWC did not approve a quota for the Makah."

Spong's position is shared by other environmentalists and conservation organizations, many of which signed a document supporting this opinion at the 1999 IWC meeting in Grenada.

The paper says, "We the undersigned observers at the 51st meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Grenada wish to point out that the IWC has not formally approved the killing of gray whales by the Makah tribe of Washington State, U.S.A." Groups that support the document include the International Wildlife Coalition, Humane Society International, Cousteau Society and the Canadian Marine Environment Protection Society.

FROM AMERICAN CETACEAN SOCIETY
American Cetacean Society Puget Sound Chapter Speaker Series 2000

Summer Resident Gray Whales and Management Implications of Makah Whaling

Presented by Jennifer Quan Cascadia Research Collective

Wednesday, May 3 Odyssey - The Maritime Discovery Center 2201 Alaskan Way, Pier 66 Seattle Waterfront Next to Anthony's Pier 66 Restaurant

Doors open at 7:00pm Program begins at 7:30pm Admission is FREE For more info: 206-297-1310 email: acs@cetaceanresearch.com

The American Cetacean Society, the world's oldest whale & dolphin conservation organization (established in 1967), protects whales, dolphins, porpoises, and other habitats and ecosystems through public education, research grants, and conservation actions. *****

LETTER OF THE WEEK (To appear in New Mexico newspapers) April 25, 2000

BLOOD, GUTS, AND GORE

Vice President Al Gore will be making a campaign stop in New Mexico this week and no doubt he will again tell us what a great "environmentalist" he is. But Gore has no right to make such a claim -- not as long as he supports the shameful, illegal slaughter of gray whales in U.S. waters by the Makah Indians.

The Clinton-Gore administration is aiding and abetting the murder of whales with millions of taxpayer dollars. Its law enforcement agents are terrorizing and attacking citizens who are trying to stop the killing. Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard intentionally ran over a young woman protester in the water and nearly killed her.

Please visit www.stopwhalekill.org for the latest and most comprehensive information on this important issue and tell Al Gore to stop killing whales!

Patricia Wolff Los Alamos, New

IRONIC E-MAIL OF THE WEEK

"...Throughout his career, Al Gore's environmental leadership has been consistent, courageous, effective, and visionary."
(E-mail received from Gore 2000 campaign the same day Erin Abbott was mowed down by the U.S. Coast Guard

MAY 16, 2000

FROM WASHINGTON CITIZEN'S COASTAL ALLIANCE

One year ago. It's almost hard to believe that at this time one year ago, we all watched in horror as the United States rejoined the pirate whaling nations of the world.

One year ago this morning, Makah whalers slaughtered a juvenile female gray whale in the waters of a federal Marine Sanctuary- she came right up to the whaling canoe, expecting a friendly hand. Instead, she received a cold harpoon and a multitude of blasts from an anti-tank gun.

The fight continues. A year of research and education is under our belts, our resolve is as strong as ever to end this hunt, and with the generosity and efforts of people just like you, we will.

We will prevail. With the truth on our side, the outcome was never in doubt, only the length of time it takes to rid our shores of this evil.

FROM PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
One-year anniversary of whale kill expected to pass quietly
By Austin Ramzy

One year ago today Makah hunters harpooned and shot a gray whale, their first outing for the creature for most of a century. The date stands out in the sweep of Makah tribal history -- May 17, 1999. There will be no formal events to mark the anniversary, said Keith Johnson, president of the Makah Whaling Commission. "It's just down in the history books, the first whale since 70 years ago,'' Johnson said.

The date stands in more than history books. It can be seen emblazoned on caps and shirts in Neah Bay. "The town's still the same, just some of us feel a lot more proud now,'' said Wayne Johnson, who captained the chase boat during last year's hunt. ``I've been talking about it for the past couple of days,'' he said. ``One year ago we executed our treaty right and helped secure it. I'm kind of proud. A couple of other families are carrying it on now.''

The Paul Parker family has spent six days hunting on the water this spring. Twice their harpoon has come close to a whale, but they have not yet killed one. A 10-day hunt permit ran out just before midnight Tuesday. Whaling crew members have declined to give interviews until the hunt is completed.

"They've been hanging in there pretty good. They must be learning something every day, just like we did last year,'' said Wayne Johnson.

Protesters mark day Whaling protesters, their ranks thinned over last year, plan to take to the water to mark the date. "(It) is the anniversary of the killing of the young,'' said Bill Moss of the World Whale Police, who was charged with violating the Coast Guard's 1,500-foot moving exclusionary zone in connection with a protest last month.

"I'm thinking we're going to celebrate it by a having a few words over the place where the animal was killed and design a wreath of kelp to mourn the anniversary of the death, assuming we're not in the moving exclusionary zone at the time, of course.''

Media attention reduced The global attention that was focused on last year's hunt has faded, Keith Johnson said. ``The media attention has been significantly reduced,'' he said. ``Last year we had different countries' news crews coming out to witness this and film.'' Now, a handful of Seattle reporters are heading to Neah Bay to mark the anniversary.

The hunters have changed in a year, too. Last year's hunt was done by a community-wide crew. This year, traditional whaling families are carrying out the hunt. In addition to the Paul Parker family, five families have expressed interest in hunting.

Wayne Johnson's family counts itself among the group. ``There was a lot of stress for a couple years there. We're finally starting to feel good about things,'' he said. ``I'm glad four or five families are carrying on with this whaling thing.'' Wayne Johnson counts the whaling songs -- some ages old, some just written -- that are being sung as one of the cultural boons of the hunt. "You'll probably be hearing some when the next whale gets landed, which shouldn't be too long.''

FROM WORLD WHALE POLICE

May 17th is the anniversary of the death of the whale taken by the hands of Makah hunters last year. The weather is expected to be good and tonight is the full moon. These are all bad indicators for gray whales here off the Makah reservation. We expect that they will make another attempt to kill a whale tomorrow.

As you know from my posting a few days ago, the migration is all but done leaving only a few straggling calves with their mothers and resident whales. Although the management plan prohibits the whalers from hunting these whales, it does not appear that NMFS cares or is willing to even access the status of the migration. We have heard from a very good source within NMFS that they are now allowing their representatives to go out to do the assessment until the hunt is complete. This is backwards: the migration status must be determined to end the hunt, not after the fact.

Please continue to send your letters to NMFS to ask them to halt the hunt until the status of the migration and the remaining whales has been done.

We are getting our boat back from the Coast Guard tomorrow and as soon as we can do the necessary repairs to make it seaworthy again, (as you probably recall it was rammed twice by the Coast Guard one month ago) we will be back out on the water saving whales. So far the work of the activists on the water has been successful.

Thank you to all of you who have helped out with donations for this campaign. We are still in need of fuel and repair funds. If you can help out at all, please contact us at this e-mail address, by phone at (360)963-0717 or by mail at P.O. Box 94, Sekiu, Washington, 98381.

Julie & Bill

PS. Please say your prayers, or whatever your ritual is, to remember the whale that died one year ago and for the protection for the whales that are living here now.

BEST QUOTE OF MAY, 1999
"Whalers suck." Don Munson (PCPW), as he was being led away from a roadblock protest near Neah Bay.

JUNE 29, 2000

FROM SEA SHEPHERD INTERNATIONAL

GORE ENDORSES GLOBAL COMMERCIAL WHALE HUNT

"Plenty of whales out there; killing a few isn't really going to make a difference."

On the eve of a crucial vote at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Australia, an official of the Al Gore presidential campaign has said that Gore is in favor of dropping the global ban on commercial whaling that has been in place since 1986.

Sean McLaughlin, a policy advisor for the Gore campaign, made the statement this morning to Sandra Abels, founder of U.S. Citizens Against Whaling, a grass-roots Washington State group formed to oppose the "cultural" whale hunt of Washington's Makah Indian tribe, which Gore has previously endorsed.

"First McLaughlin said 'There are plenty of whales out there; killing a few isn't really going to make a difference,' Abels said. "Then he told me that Gore is for whatever would mean killing less whales, even if that means eliminating the global ban so that whaling activities could be 'better regulated.' I requested that he put that in writing and he agreed to fax me an official statement. Then he called back and said he didn't think it would be 'appropriate' to do so."

Gore, running heavily on his environmental record, has little to show in the area of whale conservation. In 1994, Gore backed the "Revised Management Scheme" - a step toward the return of commercial whaling by setting theoretical quotas on whale species prior to actually permitting a hunt - saying it was a necessary compromise in order to create the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the Antarctic. It wasn't: Environmentalists prevailed, the RMS was defeated at the International Whaling Commission, and the Sanctuary was created without Gore's compromise deal. This year, whaling nations are again pushing the RMS as a way to "control" present violations of the global ban and expand them to full-scale commercial whale hunting. The Clinton/Gore Administration has failed to impose sanctions against Norway, Japan, and Canada for repeated violations of the whaling ban since 1993.

"Perhaps the Clinton/Gore administration would be so kind as to let the American people in on the secret of exactly what is US policy on whale hunting, and how the American IWC delegation intends to vote when the matter comes up in Australia next week," commented Sea Shepherd International president Paul Watson.

-- Sea Shepherd International, P.O. Box 2616, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, (360) 370-5500
http://www.seashepherd.org, seashepherd@seashepherd.org

COAST GUARD BUDGET CUTS FELT LOCALLY
PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
By Austin Ramzy

PENINSULA OPERATIONS REDUCED 15%

A U.S. Coast Guard budget crunch has resulted in cuts of about 15 percent in helicopter and patrol boat operations across the North Olympic Peninsula. The cuts are challenging, Kaetzel said, but local Coast Guard personnel are taking it in stride. ``I think that everybody is dealing with it very well,'' Kaetzel said. ``In times of shortage we covet our flight hours a little more. People are still smiling.''

Earlier this month the Coast Guard commandant, Adm. James Loy, told a House subcommittee that the branch faces an immediate financial crisis that has reduced its readiness. Congress fully funded the $4.2 billion Coast Guard 2000 budget requested by President Clinton. But the funding did not cover deferred aircraft and vessel maintenance and unbudgeted pay increases and entitlement programs enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2000.

At Air Station Port Angeles on Ediz Hook, the cuts mean tha 1,935 annual flying hours budgeted for the three Coast Guard helicopters have been reduced by about 250 hours, Kaetzel said. "We are scheduling now about three flights a day, whereas in normal times we scheduled five, six flights a day," he said.

Patrol hours for the cutters 'Cuttyhunk,' stationed in Port Angeles, and 'Osprey,' stationed in Port Townsend, have also been cut. Each vessel's hours have been reduced from 1,800 a year to 1,500.

Adding to the difficulties is the fact that the Coast Guard is squeezing the cuts in the final four months of the fiscal year, Kaetzel said. But search and rescue calls are about 20 percent fewer than last year, which has helped reduce some of the budget strain, he added.

The cutter 'Active,' which returned Monday after a six-week fisheries patrol off Washington and Oregon, is avoiding patrol cutbacks because it is scheduled for repairs. "The only reason why we didn't get impacted is we have a scheduled drydock beginning July 10 for two months," said Cmdr. Robert Reininger of 'Active.' "Other cutters in Astoria (Ore.) had their patrols canceled."

But the 'Active' was hit by the cutbacks halfway through its most recent patrol after the flights of land-base-helicopters that were assisting it were reduced. "We were out on patrol when this stuff went down. We didn't receive dedicated air flights to do law enforcement, so we were on our own," Reininger said.

Loy told the House subcommittee that while search and rescue response will not be curtailed, the reduced presence on the water and in the air may increase response times.

Kaetzel said that response times around the North Olympic Peninsula likely will not be slowed.

Small boat operations at Coast Guard stations Neah Bay and Quillayute River, in LaPush, will not be affected by the cuts, he said. "I have every confidence that the situation is going to be corrected sometime in the near future," Kaetzel said. "But in the meantime we are holding to these limits. We can't write checks on an account that's overdrawn."

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"...We have considered suing the like-minded (pro-conservation) nations in (the) IWC for flouting the convention, denying us the opportunity to go whaling."
Shigeko Misaki Japan Whaling Association spokeswoman

 


Trade Convention Refuses to "Downlist" Gray, Minke Whales

from Orcalab
April 20, 2000

After weeks of tension over the potential outcome of Japan's attempt to "downlist" gray whales at this year's CITES (Convention on Trade in Endangered Species) meeting in Nairobi, the vote has been taken. Japan lost, 63 to 40, with 6 abstentions. i.e. CITES has voted resoundingly against allowing trade in gray whale products.

The outcome is a huge defeat for Japan & attempts to start commercial whaling again via the back-door route of convincing CITES to allow trade in whale products. In this case, gray whales, there are sound grounds for believing that trade between Makah (Washington State) and Nuu-chah-nulth (British Columbia) First Nations would follow downlisting by CITES, with Japan waiting in the background for a wider market in gray whale meat to open up. For the moment at least, that threat has diminished, though Makah whalers are getting ready to kill again.

Snippets from the scene in Nairobi...... Japan's sarcastic behavior in the debate offended some delegates; the Czech Republic protested the heavy lobbying of pro-whalers who had urged some delegations to vote against their governmental orders (which is possible at CITES, where secret ballots are cast); the CITES Secretariat performed admirably, controlling the debate and restricting interventions to 3 minute speeches; International Whaling Commission (IWC) chairman Michael Canny helped by requesting that the IWC lead on whale issues, though his reasoning also carried the message that whaling will likely be permitted by the IWC again, perhaps as soon as this year's (July) meeting in Adelaide.

More good news from the CITES meeting in Nairobi... Japan and Norway have lost all the votes on their attempts to "downlist" minke whales!

Japan lost both of its proposals by a wide margin, and though the vote on Norway's proposal was close, it fell far short of the 2/3 majority needed for downlisting. Here are the specific vote counts:

1. Japan's proposal to downlist minke whales in the Southern Ocean, as amended by Japan to permit trade between countries with DNA tracking capability:

46 Yes (in favor of Japan's amended downlisting proposal) 69 No 4 Abstentions

2. Suriname's proposed amendment... to downlist minke whales in the Southern Ocean, but with a zero quota until the next CITES meeting:

47 Yes (in favor of Japan and downlisting) 66 No 5 Abstentions 4 votes spoiled

3. Japan's proposal to downlist minke whales in the North Pacific:

47 Yes (in favor of Japan and downlisting) 66 No 5 Abstentions 4 votes spoiled

3. Norway's proposal to downlist minke whales in the North Atlantic:

52 Yes (in favor of Norway and dowlisting) 57 No 9 Abstentions 2 spoiled

Under CITES rules, the closeness of this last vote means that Norway can come back to the plenary session on Monday and propose an amendment which might persuade some of the abstaining nations. However, it seems very unlikely that the 2/3 majority needed for any form of downlisting would be achieved.

This is the 3rd consecutive meeting of CITES at which Japan & Norway's attempts to open up trade in whale products have been frustrated. Apparently, Japan was its own worst enemy in the debate, acting with extreme arrogance, much as it does habitually at the IWC... insulting Traffic and IUCN, and even attacking the CITES Secretariat for issuing a report rejecting the proposals.

After the meeting, someone who understands Japanese overheard members of Japan's delegation conferring. Someone asked, "So, who gets to call Tokyo?"

Here's our question... when is Japan, i.e. the Japanese government & especially its Fisheries Agency, going to wake up to the fact that it cannot bully and buy its way into the resumption of whaling? You'll see, in another story we'll put out soon, that real changes are occurring in attitudes of Japanese people towards whales, and we take encouragement from that. For the moment, until Japan's government finally follows the lead of its citizens, we can all take heart from the fact that whales won five times in Nairobi today!

 


Berkeley Honors Julia Butterfly

by Gregory Wesley
The Daily Californian
April 3, 2000

For most cities, yesterday was just another Sunday, but in Berkeley, it was Julia Butterfly Hill day.

The Berkeley City Council proclaimed April 2 as a day honoring the 25-year-old woman who lived in a redwood tree in Humboldt County for two years to save it from being cut down.

City officials are now praising Hill's struggle, which began in December 1997 when she set up quarters in the tree she named Luna.

"Most of us run our mouths but then we never do anything like that," said Councilmember Betty Olds, who co-sponsored the proclamation.

The proclamation was initially conceived by Councilmember Diane Woolley, who said she was inspired by Hill's fortitude.

"She's a marvelous example to all of us to take action for what we believe in," Woolley said. "That was a very strong action. It's a lesson in what one person can do."

To observe the day, Woolley was expected to present Hill with the council's proclamation last night at Ashkenaz, a music and dance center in Northwest Berkeley.

The celebration, complete with entertainment and a book signing by Hill, was arranged by Nancy Duff, a Berkeley realtor who conversed with Hill during the period she spent living in Luna.

Duff said she heard Hill criticize The Home Depot, Inc. on the radio for being the country's largest seller of old-growth redwood lumber. Duff then sold her Home Depot stock and sent the profits to Hill.

"A few months later I get this call one stormy night and it's Julia calling me from the tree," Duff said. "I was completely blown away by her."

Duff said the phone calls she received from Hill were "extraordinary," and compared the experience to talking to some of history's most famous personalities.

"She called me from the tree and we had these long conversations," she said. "You could hear the wind blowing in the background and it's freezing. It was like talking to Nelson Mandela or Gandhi or Joan of Arc."

Hill, a minister's daughter originally from Arkansas, came to Northern California and began her advocacy of redwood trees after recovering from a near-fatal automobile accident that impaired her speech and mobile abilities for several months.

She spent more than two years on a six-by-eight-foot platform in Luna's branches to prevent the 1000-year-old tree from being logged by the Pacific Lumber company.

While living in Luna, Hill depended on fellow environmentalists to deliver supplies to her 180-foot-high platform. She used a camping stove to cook vegetarian meals and a bucket in place of a toilet.

"I'd hate to live in a tree that long, living there by yourself through the storms and everything," Olds said. "It's quite amazing."

Hill came down from the tree in December 1999 after Pacific Lumber agreed to leave Luna in place. She has since traveled throughout the country to discuss her experience and promote her new book.

"(Yesterday's celebration was) kind of her last appearance," Duff said. "She's been doing a lot of Bay Area appearances."

But regardless of whether Hill takes a rest from public life, Duff said her legacy has left its mark.

"She taught us that 'do unto others' is not just about people," she said. "Her spiritual connection to Luna and what she's taught us is just amazing."

 


"Dolphin-Safe" Tuna Labeling Threatened

From Defenders of Wildlife
March 6, 2000

In the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean (ETP), some schools of yellowfin tuna associate with dolphins. Fishermen there have consequently found that setting nets on dolphins to catch the tuna swimming underneath is a lucrative technique for tuna fishing, despite the fact the practice is extremely injurious to dolphins. In the past 40 years this practice led to the deaths of over 7 million dolphins.

In 1990 consumer pressure brought about the "dolphin safe" tuna program. This decreased dolphin deaths by 97%. This program was also responsible for the current "dolphin-safe" label, which ensures that no dolphins were intentionally chased and encircled with deadly tuna nets.

Just recently the Clinton Administration turned back the clock and is once again allowing the setting of tuna nets on dolphins. The Department of Commerce announced in May a change to the definition of the "dolphin-safe" label that will allow the chasing, harassment, netting, potential injuring and killing of dolphins by tuna nets, as long as an on-board observer reports no dolphins were killed or "seriously" injured during the course of the fishing trip. The decision to change the label was based on results of dolphin population and stress studies, performed by the US National Marine Fisheries Service, that the Administration says fails to conclusively prove significant adverse impacts on dolphin populations by tuna fishing. The weakening of the label will occur despite the fact that at least two dolphin species in the ETP, the Northern offshore spotted and the Eastern spinner, are already listed as depleted by the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

What You Can Do

•Write to Vice President Gore. Let him know you disappointed you are with the Clinton Administration's decision to weaken the "dolphin-safe" label.

•Urge US Tuna Companies to Be "Dolphin-safe!" Write letters to the three biggest tuna companies in the US. Defenders and a coalition of groups have already convinced Star-Kist, Chicken of the Sea and Bumblebee Tuna to commit to only trading in dolphin-safe tuna but they are under tremendous pressure by foreign governments, and sadly, our own government, to change this policy. They need to hear from you! Please urge them to stay "dolphin-safe."

•Write letters to your local grocery store, restaurant, or supermarket. Urge your favorite store to commit in writing to only selling tuna that is safe for dolphins and that is not caught in association with the encirclement of dolphins. Concerned Americans like you have already convinced Safeway, Long John Silver's, Red Lobster, The Olive Garden, Walt Disney, Subway, IGA Stores, Garden Fresh Restaurants and Disco Stores to remain dolphin-safe! The rest need to hear from you!

•Send Defenders a copy of your letters. This way we can keep track of the pressure you and others are placing on our government and the tuna industry to maintain our current, hard-fought protections for dolphins. Thanks for your help!!!

 


For the Buffalo

Please take 20 seconds and add your voice to those who speak FOR THE BUFFALO and sign this petition! http://www.wildrockies.org/buffpet the Montana DOL have killed over 1500 buffalo this decade! Now, is the time to speak out before the killing begins again this year. Please encourage your friends and families to stop by and sign! and thanks to all of you who have already signed on!!!! The first delivery in DC was great! The second one this fall will be even better!

We have posted video clips for an "in the field" look at the buffalo and their plight with the Montana Department of Livestock Please stop by and see it! http://www.wildrockies.org/buffalo The page is being updated for this new winter season...keep checkin

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