Fish Talk: The Makah Tribe's Political Saga To Hunt Gray Whales

Aug 10, 2017

A gray whale "spy hops" to see above the water line.
Credit Chris Johnson / NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Today on Fish Talk, KYUK continues our conversation about gray whales by discussing the long political struggle the Makah Tribe in Washington state is undergoing to regain its whaling rights.

The Makah Tribe is the only North American tribe that has a quota from the International Whaling Commission to hunt gray whales, but the tribe is blocked by the United States' Marine Mammal Protection Act, even though it has a treaty from 1855 to hunt these animals.

Today we’re airing a conversation with Makah Whaling Commission President Keith Johnson on this political struggle, and why the tribe’s history and identity as whalers keeps them working towards their goal to one day hunt gray whales again.

Julia Jimmie translates the show into Yup'ik.