Date: Fri, 9 Jun, 2000

Anti-whaling Victory for Gray Whales

VICTORIA, [CBC] - A U.S. federal appeals court in San Francisco has ordered a halt to the controversial whale hunt by the Makah Tribe of Washington State. The judge ruled the environmental impact of the hunt had not been adequately considered.

That hunt resumed last spring after grey whales were removed from the endangered species list, and the tribe received permission from the U.S. government. The Makah say that included an environmental impact assessment.

The president of the tribe's whaling commission says it looks like the judge's decision was based on a technicality, which he hopes can be cleared up. Keith Johnson also says it's not clear to him whether the court decision puts an immediate stop to the hunt. If it doesn't, the Makah will keep hunting.
"You know, until something happens," he says, "we're still living for the opportunity for families to go out, unless there is something new that comes up from the court."

Anti-whaling activists are celebrating today's ruling. Anna Hall of the West Coast Anti-Whaling Society says it's about time the courts intervened.

The case now goes back to a court in Washington State for more proceedings, including possibly a new environmental assessment to be done by the federal government.

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