Makah Tribal Whale Hunt

The Makah Indian Tribe has requested authorization to hunt eastern North Pacific gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). The right of whaling at usual and accustomed grounds is a Makah tradition secured by the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay. 181kb

The Ninth Circuit Court ruled in 2004 that the Makah, to pursue any treaty rights for whaling, must comply with the process prescribed in the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) for authorizing take of marine mammals otherwise prohibited by a moratorium. (Take means to harass, hunt, capture, or kill any marine mammal.)

On Feb. 14, 2005, we received a request from the Makah for a limited waiver of the MMPA's take moratorium, including issuance of regulations and any necessary permits. We're conducting a full evaluation of the tribe's MMPA waiver request.

Chronology of Makah Tribal whale hunt process

Information on Makah Tribal whale hunt