Subsistence whalers vow to continue, despite IWC decision

Posted: Thursday, June 06, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Subsistence whaling in Alaska will continue despite a recent setback by the International Whaling Commission, said Jacob Adams, chief executive of Arctic Slope Regional Corp.

Addressing a Resource Development Council luncheon in Anchorage on Wednesday, Adams denounced the IWC's recent decision to deny Alaska Eskimo whalers any quota for five years starting in 2003.

''Our traditions will survive,'' said Adams, a whaling captain who runs one of Alaska's most successful Native corporations.

Last month, the IWC stunned Alaska Natives and many others by voting to block subsistence whaling by 10 Alaska villages that are traditionally granted quotas.

Japan led the effort to deny aboriginal whaling rights to Alaska and Russia in retaliation for blockage of its bid to commercially hunt minke whales.

North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak said the U.S. Commerce Department will formally ask the whaling commission this week to reconsider its vote for a third time.

Both Adams and Ahmaogak expressed hope that a solution will be reached.

''No matter what, we're going to continue whaling,'' Ahmaogak said.

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