[sixties-l] green party and whales

From: Joe McDonald (joe@countryjoe.com)
Date: Wed Aug 30 2000 - 17:58:49 CUT

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    > i notice an interest in the list members in the GREEN PARTY. For your
    > information here is Green Party Vice Presidentioal Candidate Winona LaDuke's
    > statement on the Makah Nation's right to kill whales. The global village now
    > challanges old world rights. In the 60's we honored nation states and native
    > tribes points of view. Today we are challenged to make global decissions.
    > The International Whaling Commission bans the killing of these whales by
    > anyone on the planet. cheers, country joe mcdonald

    > -------------------------------
    > Winona LaDuke Green Party Vice Presidential
    > Candidate Position on Makah Whaling: August 2000
    > The Makah Nation, situated at Neah Bay, in what is now known as
    > Washington State, has thousands of years of tradition as ocean
    > harvesters, including fish, seals, and whales. When US Territorial
    > Governor Isaac Stevens arrived at Neah Bay in December of l855, he
    > entered into treaty negotiations for three days with Makah leaders. The
    > Makah made it clear to him that while they were prepared to cede their
    > lands to the US, they wanted a guarantee of their traditional rights on
    > the ocean, and specifically the right to take whales. The treaty of the
    > l855, ratified by the US Congress is the law of the land under the
    > constitution and has been upheld in the federal courts and the US
    > Supreme court. That treaty to the Makah is as "powerful and meaningful
    > a document as the US constitution is to other Americans, it is what our
    > forefathers bequeathed to us". As a candidate for Vice President of the
    > United States, I believe that the US should abide by international law,
    > and honor treaties. The treaty with the Makah is the only treaty
    > between a Native Nation and the US government, which explicitly
    > guarantees a right to whale.
    > Indigenous peoples on a worldwide scale, are increasingly impacted by
    > wanton industrialization, and it's impacts on ecosystems, animal
    > populations, culture, and the ability of peoples to sustain themselves
    > with dignity. The United Nations has increasingly become concerned
    > about the losses of cultural diversity, and human lives in the world,
    > and designated, for instance decades of Indigenous peoples, and working
    > groups on the issues of Indigenous peoples. Prior to this, however, the
    > International Whaling Commission, after appeals by member nations as
    > well as Indigenous Nations has specifically allocated whale harvest
    > quotas to Indigenous peoples for the past decades, recognizing the
    > nutritional and specific spiritual needs of these communities to
    > continue their harvests. The International Whaling Commission, at it's
    > last meeting continued this practice, approving a combined 620 gray
    > whale quota for Russian and US aboriginals to be taken over a five year
    > period. The Makah quota is 20 whales landed over five years
    > (l998-2002), with no more than 33 strikes. This Makah quota did not
    > increase the IWC allocation, but, instead, was removed, according to
    > both the Makah Whaling Commission and the Northwest Indian Fisheries
    > Commission from the Chukotki, indigenous people from Russia, whose
    > annual take is l65 whales. In short, the Makah allocation, in no way
    > increased the subsistence allocations internationally for the harvest of
    > gray whales.
    > The Makah had taken a 70 year fast from what is one of their most
    > important spiritual and subsistence foods, since the industrialized
    > whale harvest had devastated whale populations in the eastern Pacific
    > herd. The decline in subsistence harvest of whale, like other
    > traditional foods, also decimated by industrial fishing and harvesting
    > has had detrimental impacts on Native communities like the Makah. Many
    > of these communities today have diabetes rates averaging 40% in adults,
    > and related nutritional problems associated with the forced rapid
    > transformation of indigenous diets from traditional foods to processed
    > foods, often called commodities and high in starch and sugars. The
    > impacts of these devastating health effects cannot be overstated in
    > Native communities, whose public health services have been entirely
    > underfunded (in comparison to vast expenditures on the military and
    > other non- human needs allocations in the federal budget). Native
    > health statistics and funding nationally fall far below, even the most
    > dire conditions in the general population. Whale meat, like other ocean
    > mammal meat has oils and nutritional sources which are absorbed into the
    > system directly, and are considered essential to the recovery of the
    > health of the Makah people, and other traditional Native peoples who are
    > ocean harvesters.
    > The Makah assumed that when the International Whaling Commission,
    > combined with the US government, estimated that the health of the
    > Eastern Pacific gray whale herd was well established, with at least
    > 22,000 members, that the animal was considered "recovered" and delisted
    > from the Endangered Species Act in l994. It was safe therefore to resume
    > their traditional harvest. That harvest, while guaranteed in the treaty,
    > is considered a sacred right and responsibility of the Makah people. The
    > US government supported the Makah Nation's request for aboriginal
    > subsistence whaling, and sought an IWC approved quota.
    > The Makah whale hunt's resurrection was supported by a referendum vote
    > in the Makah people, in which 85% of those voting favored whaling.
    > Provisions for the whaling included both the use of traditional harpoons
    > (adapted with the best technologies), and the use of a .50 caliber
    > rifle, which is, considered the most humane and expedient method of
    > killing the animal. The Makah consulted with Dr. Allen Ingling, a
    > veterinarian at the University of Maryland, along with the National
    > Marine Mammal Laboratory, in the determination of the most humane way of
    > harvesting a whale, and utilized this practice simultaneous to their
    > traditional harvesting practice. The community also undertook the hunt
    > with the understanding inside the village, and with NOAA (National
    > Marine Fisheries Service), that there would be no commercial sale of
    > whale meat. The tribe further committed this in a written agreement with
    > NOAA, reinforced by 50CFR part 2300 which states "No person may sell, or
    > offer for sale, whale products from whales taken in an aboriginal
    > subsistence hunt, except that authentic articles of native handcraft may
    > be sold or offered for sale."
    > The Makah whale harvest was successful, in taking of one whale in l999.
    > That was in spite of organized and aggressive interference by the Sea
    > Shepard Society, in coordination with some additional interests. The
    > actions of the Sea Shepard Society additionally cost the United States
    > Coast Guard up to perhaps $5 million in expenditures to protect the
    > Makah exercise of their legal rights. The whale taken is presumed to be
    > from the Eastern Pacific whale herd, the harvest taking place in May of
    > l999, just after the formal allocation of the permit from NOAA, to the
    > Makah Whaling Commission, and the subsequent allocation of the whaling
    > permit by the Makah Whaling Commission.
    > Based on the above information, the Vice Presidential Candidate of the
    > Green Party supports and will enforce the law of the United States in
    > honoring it's treaties, and in the protection of the Makah right to
    > continue their harvest of gray whales. At the same time as the Makah
    > exercised their treaty right, I have great concerns as to the continued
    > industrialized whaling practices by Norway and Japan, and the sudden
    > increase in massive whale mortality. I would propose measures to seek
    > mitigation of both these problems.
    > The International Whaling Commission introduced a moratorium on
    > commercial whaling in l986. However, Japan and Norway exploited
    > "loopholes" in the moratorium in order to continue their whaling
    > practices. Norway hunts whales commercially off its own coasts, and
    > Japan is pressing the IWC to allow it to do the same. In l998, Norway
    > hunted down some 624 whales. Using a pretext of "scientific whaling"
    > Japan killed 389 whales in the Southern Ocean, within the borders of the
    > Southern Whale Sanctuary in l999. The wholesale value of the l700 tons
    > of whale meat caught by the Japanese in the Antarctic was about 3
    > billion yen, the retail value about three times that.
    > I support a moratorium on commercial whaling. I also support the
    > expansion of whale sanctuaries including the development, initially of a
    > South Pacific Whale Sanctuary, as supported by Australia and New
    > Zealand, and a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary as proposed by Brazil at
    > the International Whaling Commission. I also support a Global Whale
    > Sanctuary and the abolition of commercial whaling.
    > In terms of possible whale destruction by the US Navy, I would call for
    > a cessation of the SURTASS LFAS Program (Surveillance Towed Array Sonar
    > System utilizing Low Frequency Active Sonar). This program, is a
    > continuation of the militarization of the ocean, and represents, not
    > only an excessive cost to taxpayers, in a post-cold war era, in which
    > the US military budgetary expenditures dwarf those of any other
    > "potential enemies" by at least ten fold; but represents a clear threat
    > to whale, dolphin and other ocean species.
    > The proposed military acoustic program would be a network of very high
    > powered sound generators placed in various places round the oceans, some
    > stationary, others towed behind ships. The sound generators can blast
    > 250 decibels of noise, which is l00, 000 to one million times greater
    > than the loudest whale, and perhaps a billion times louder than the
    > subtle acoustical signals of other sea creatures. The system is designed
    > for the sophisticated location and long distance communication between
    > submarines. These sounds are the loudest sounds ever generated by
    > humans, with the possible exception of the noise at nuclear Ground
    > Zero. After almost every known Navy test, whales and dolphins show up
    > on beaches for "mysterious reasons", some with bleeding eyes, damaged
    > and infected cochlea, and other unusual tissue damage and these are the
    > creatures we know about. The Navy has thus far maintained that the
    > strandings are only " anecdotal", unconnected to it's testing, and
    > refuses to study the matter further. Based on extensive strandings in
    > the Canary Islands (l985, l988, l989), the Atlantic Coast (l987),
    > Northern California (l995, l997) British Columbia, Hawaii, US Virgin
    > Islands, and the Bahamas. I advocate for a complete cessation of this
    > program, and a study of the anecdotal data. I would advocate for this
    > based on a precautionary principle, in that we are not sure of the
    > long-term impact, but are quite aware of the present anecdotal evidence.
    > Furthermore, in relationship to an increase in whale beachings, and
    > autopsies, the reports show both increases in health problems among the
    > whales, "starvation", and other mortalities, leading to the death of
    > perhaps an estimated 300 whales in the past year alone. These
    > mortalities are, according to federal studies, related largely to
    > ecosystem decline, contamination and overharvesting of other species.
    > The continued overharvesting of fish species by mass industrialized
    > fishing poses a greater threat to our ecosystems, and our economies by
    > far, than the actions of the Makah. The allocation of ITQs is based on
    > false ecological premises of Maximum sustainable harvests, and has been
    > part of the process, through which the UN today estimates that nearly
    > every commercial species surveyed is fully exploited, over exploited or
    > depleted. The total of all catches have gone from 3 million tons in
    > l900 to 86 million tones in l989, largely driven by the introduction of
    > factory trawlers. By l99l, 50 vessels of the fleet, comprised only 2.5
    > percent of all boats in the groundfish fisheries off Alaska that year,
    > yet landed l.4 million metric tones of catch, nearly three quarters of
    > the total. Additionally, almost 70% of that which is caught is tossed
    > back dead into the ocean as "bycatch", considered waste, but, is a total
    > waste of life to all those fish. As well, one third of all fish caught
    > by the factory trawlers is reduced to fish meal, to produce for hogs,
    > and chickens, and represents a total loss of protein potential for the
    > world's peoples, many of whom live on the brink of starvation.
    > The overharvesting and devastation of our oceans indicated by
    > industrialized fishing destroys all of this life, offsets potential
    > income for family fishers, and is a whole part of the mismanagement of
    > the world's oceans. For the first time ever, the total ocean fish catch
    > has begun to decline. I support conservation measures, including no
    > fishing zones, to restore fish stocks in the world, some of which are
    > nearing spirals toward extinction. All of these measures represent the
    > necessary steps for the future of our communities, our relatives, and
    > our planet.
    > *****

    -- "Ira Furor Brevis Est " - Anger is a brief madness

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