Natives get grant to go to international whaling meeting

Posted: Friday, September 06, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A federal grant will allow three members of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission to travel to England to discuss subsistence quotas for bowhead whales.

The $107,000 grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs will enable the delegation to travel to Cambridge England to defend Native subsistence whaling at the Oct. 14 meeting of the International Whaling Commission.

The special meeting was called to address five-year bowhead whale quotas for Alaska and Russian subsistence whalers. Japan had blocked approval of the quotas during the commission's regular meeting last May in Shimonoseki, Japan.

Since then, Japan has sent mixed signals on the issue. In June, the country's diplomatic delegation announced that it would drop its opposition to the bowhead quotas. In early August, however, Japan's chief whaling negotiator suggested that he would continue his opposition until the United States softened its opposition to proposed quotas for Japanese whalers.

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