Seals, whales, ESA and the Willys

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1997:

D.C. ––Close to losing 25 years of
activist gains through back door politics, the
International Fund for Animal Welfare and
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society rallied
opposition to sealing off Atlantic Canada and
whaling in any form as ANIMAL PEOPLE
went to press, while Defenders of Wildlife
used the Internet to assemble resistance to an
Endangered Species Act rewrite apparently
favored by both the Bill Clinton/Albert Gore
administration and the Republican majorities
in the House and Senate.
IFAW sent out an eight-millionpiece
mailing asking members and sympathizers
to call or write Canadian authorities to
remind them that seal slaughter is as offensive
now as in 1984, when three decades of
campaigning finally brought a 12-year suspension
of the offshore phase of the killing.

Captain Paul Watson of the Sea
Shepherds stole the media show on the first
day of the 49th annual International Whaling
Commission meeting, in Monaco, by bringing
Makah tribe member Jeff Ides––in traditional
regalia––to the door of the meeting
chamber, where Ides asked IWC secretary
Ray Gambell for permission to represent the
many Makah who oppose the official tribal
request for an aboriginal subsistance quota on
gray whales.
“He was denied entrance,” Watson
said, “with the explanation by Gambell that
only approved members of the U.S. delegation
were allowed.”
While Gambell, the official U.S.
delegates, and others favoring the Makah
application might not have wanted to hear
Ides, reporters evidently did, as Ides and
Makah elder Alberta Thompson, also
opposed to the quota request, both were
prominently quoted in international coverage.
There was scant U.S. coverage,
however, as whatever print space and air
time might have been devoted to marine
mammals was diverted when a dispute
between the Free Willy/Keiko Foundation
and the Oregon Coast Aquarium over the care
and rehabilitation of the orca star of the Free
Willy films burst into the open seemingly as if
on cue to distract activist attention from the

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