May, 1999Under a treaty with the US government, the Makah tribe is allowed to kill up to five whales every year.
The Makah tribe in the United States killed a gray whale for the first time in 75 years. The group instantly met protest and opposition, especially from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The Makah hunters traveled in a wooden
canoe and hunted with harpoons. They killed a gray whale near Cape Alava and brought it back to the shore.
No protestors were at the scene of the kill. However, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society had been watching the hunters. It had returned
temporarily to refuel.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's boat Sirinian was out to stop the whale hunt. Many other protestors had their boats confiscated by the Coast Guard so that the Makah tribe could hunt without interference.
"Today, with speed boats, military weaponry and the draconian assistance of the U.S. government in stifling all dissent, American whalers managed to blast a whale out of existence in American waters on the pretext of cultural privilege.
As far as we're concerned, Vice President Al Gore and the U.S. Coast Guard got their whale," said Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
In addition to that group, the Sea Defense Alliance and Progressive Animal Welfare Society also protested against the hunt.
The Makah Tribe's information on their whaling activities