THE MARINE MAMMAL COMMISSION COMPENDIUM

AGREEMENTS INVOLVING NATIVE ALASKAN GROUPS / MARINE MAMMALS
First Update; pages 1003-1008


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Cooperative Agreement Between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Washington, D.C., 1984

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Done at Washington, D.C., 5 May 1984
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce


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COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION AND THE ALASKA ESKIMO WHALING COMMISSION, AS AMENDED

 

1. PURPOSES

The purposes of this agreement are to protect the bowhead whale and the Eskimo culture, to promote scientific investigation of the bowhead whale, and to effectuate the other purposes of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Whaling Convention Act and the Endangered Species Act as these acts may relate to aboriginal subsistence whaling.

In order to achieve these purposes, this agreement provides for:

(a) cooperation between members of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in management of the bowhead whale hunt for 1981 through 1987; and

(b) an exclusive enforcement mechanism that shall apply during the term of this agreement to any violation by whaling captains (or their crews) who are registered members of the AEWC of any provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, or the Whaling Convention Act, as these acts may relate to aboriginal subsistence whaling, of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946, of regulations of the International Whaling Commission, or of any provisions of this agreement.

2. RESPONSIBILITIES

NOAA has primary responsibility within the United States Government for management and enforcement of programs concerning the bowhead whale. The AEWC is an association governing Alaskan Eskimo whalers who hunt for bowhead whales. The AEWC adopted a Management Plan on March 4, 1961, to govern hunting for bowhead whales by Alaskan Eskimos. Under this cooperative agreement, the AEWC will, in cooperation with NOAA manage the 1981 through 1987 bowhead whale hunts. The authority and responsibilities of the AEWC are contained in or limited by this agreement and the Management Plan as amended from time to time to the extent the Management Plan is not inconsistent with this agreement. If the AEWC fails to carry out its enforcement responsibilities or meet the conditions of this agreement or of the Management Plan as amended from time to time, NOAA may assert its federal management and enforcement authority and will regulate the bowhead whale hunt in a manner consistent with federal law, this agreement and the Management Plan to the extent necessary to carry out the responsibilities that are not being carried out. Such assertion of federal authority will be preceded by notice to AEWC of intent to regulate the bowhead whale hunt to the extent necessary to carry out those responsibilities and conditions, and will not be effected until the AEWC or its members have been given an opportunity to present their views on the need for such assertion in a public forum; provided, however, that in cases where irreparable harm to the bowhead whale resource might result, the assertion of federal authority may be effected immediately after notice, in which cases the public forum on the need for such assertion will be conducted as soon as practicable thereafter.

3. INSPECTION AND REPORTING

NOAA personnel shall monitor the hunt and the AEWC shall assist such personnel with such monitoring. The AEWC will provide an oral report to NOAA daily regarding the number of strikes and landings. The AEWC will also inform all whaling captains who are engaged in whaling activities of the number of whales struck or landed at all times. The AEWC will also provide a report to NOAA within 30 days after the conclusion of the spring hunt and the fall hunt containing at least the following information:

(1) The number, dates, and locations of every strike or landing;

(2) The length (as measured from the point of the upper jaw to the notch between the tail flukes), the extreme width of the flukes, and the sex of the bowhead whales landed;

(3) The length and sex of a fetus, if present, in a landed bowhead whale; and

(4) An explanation of circumstances associated with the striking of any bowhead whale not landed, and an estimate of whether a harpoon or bomb emplacement caused a wound which might be fatal to the animal (e.g., the harpoon entered a major organ of the body cavity and the bomb exploded).

NOAA will provide technical assistance in collection' of the above information. The AEWC shall assist appropriate persons in collection of specimens from landed whales, including but not limited to ovaries, ear plugs, and baleen plates. Such specimens shall be available to appropriate government officials. NOAA personnel cooperating with AEWC will work closely with the AEWC Commissioner in each whaling village to facilitate the accurate monitoring of the hunt.

4. MANAGEMENT

(1) No more than a total of 27 whales shall be struck in 1984. The AEWC and NOAA shall determine the total number of whales that may be struck in each year from 1985 through 1987 through annual negotiations that shall be concluded by March 15 of the year for which the quota is applicable. If the AEWC and NOAA are unable in these annual negotiations to agree on quotas for 1986 or 1987, the quota from the previous year shall apply. The AEWC Management Plan will provide that whaling captains and crews will use their best efforts to land every whale that is struck, and strike whales that are under 12 meters (39 feet) and presumed to be sexually immature.

(2) The AEWC may determine the allocation of these permitted strikes among the whaling villages.

5. ENFORCEMENT

(1) The AEWC agrees that whaling captains will be subject to civil monetary assessments for whales struck over any strike limit and whales landed over any landing limit that is prescribed in this agreement and the Management Plan as they may be amended from time to time. The AEWC will collect the assessments from the whaling captains and deposit them in a separate bank account from, which no disbursements shall be made without the express agreement of NOAA and the AEWC. In the event of a dispute between NOAA and the AEWC over the number of whales landed or struck, or the amount of the assessment, or other factual matters, NOAA will consult with the AEWC about the matter. If the dispute cannot be resolved, it will be referred to a NOAA administrative law judge for determination under a trial-type administrative proceeding of factual findings and the amount of assessment. The procedures contained in 15 C.F.R. sections 904.200'904.272 will control these proceedings. The decision of the administrative law judge may be appealed to the Administrator of NOAA. Whaling captains may also be liable for civil assessments for other violations of the Management Plan as determined by the AEWC or by an administrative law judge under the procedures described above.

(2) In consideration of the AEWC's agreement hereunder, the Government of the United States agrees that the enforcement provision described in paragraph (1) of this section shall be the exclusive enforcement mechanism that shall apply during the term of this agreement to any violation by whaling captains or their crews who are registered members of the AEWC of any provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, or the Whaling Convention Act as these Acts may relate to aboriginal subsistence whaling, of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946, of any regulations of the International Whaling Commission, or of any provisions of this agreement.

(3) The AEWC annually will furnish NOAA the names of all registered whaling captains.

6. AUTHORITIES

This cooperative agreement is concluded under the authorities governing management of living marine resources including but not limited to the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Whaling Convention Act of 1949.

7. DURATION

This agreement is in effect from March 26, 1981 through December 31, 1987. 

8. CONSULTATION

NOAA and the AEWC shall consult during the operation of this agreement concerning the matters addressed herein as well as all other matters related to bowhead whales which either party believes are suitable for such consultation. Specifically, NOAA shall consult with the AEWC on any action undertaken or any action proposed to be undertaken by any agency or department of the Federal Government that may affect the bowhead whale and shall use its best efforts to have such agency or department participate in such consultation with the AEWC. AEWC MANAGEMENT PLAN

Subpart A--Introduction

Subsection 100.1 "Purpose of Regulations.

It is the purposes of the regulations contained herein to:

(a) insure an efficient subsistence harvest of bowhead whales;

(b) provide a means within the Alaska Eskimo customs and institution of limiting the bowhead whale harvest in order to prevent the extinction of such species; and

(c) provide for Eskimo regulation of all whaling activities by Eskimos who are members of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.

Subsection 100.2 "Scope of Regulations.

The regulations contained herein apply to the subsistence hunting of whales by Eskimos who are members of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.

Subpart B--Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission

Subsection 100.11 "Powers.

(a) The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (hereinafter AEWC) is empowered to administer the regulations contained herein to insure that the purposes in Subsection 100.1 of these regulations are attained.

(b) The AEWC is empowered to enforce the regulations by:

(1) denying any person who violates these regulations the right to participate in hunting bowhead whales.

(2) making civil assessments.

(3) acting as an enforcement agent for any governmental entity authorized to enforce these regulations.

(c) The AEWC is empowered to promulgate interim regulations that are in addition to, but not inconsistent with regulations contained herein.

Subsection 100.12 "Duties.

(a) The AEWC shall administer and enforce the regulations contained herein (including any interim regulations).

(b) The AEWC shall conduct village education programs to facilitate compliance with these regulations, including training programs for whaling captains and crews.

(c) The AEWC shall initiate research for improvement of the accuracy and reliability of weapons.

Subpart C--Regulations

Subsection 100.21 "Definitions.

(a) "bowhead whale" means a whale whose scientific name is "baleana mysticetus and which migrates past whaling villages in Alaska. (b) "captain" means the person in charge of a whaling crew.

(c) "harvest" means to kill and bring to shore or butchering area.

(d) "non-traditional weapons" means any instrument that could be used to harvest a bowhead whale that is not a traditional weapon.

(e) "traditional weapon" means a harpoon with line attached, darting gun, shoulder gun, lance or any other weapon approved by the AEWC as such a weapon in order to improve the efficiency of the bowhead whale harvest.

(1) "harpoon with line attached" means a harpoon with a rotating head which is attached to a line and float and which has no explosive charge. (See Figures 7 and 8 of Appendix E of the FEIS on the International Whaling Commission's Deletion of Native Exemption for the Subsistence Harvest of Bowhead Whales. (October 1977) (hereinafter FEIS).

(2) "darting gun harpoon" means a harpoon with an explosive charge and with a line and float attached. (See Appendix E of FEIS in Figure 4).

(3) "shoulder gun" means a whaling gun, adapted from the era of commercial whaling in the 19th century, which has an explosive charge and which has no attached line and float. (See Appendix E of the FEIS in Figure 5.)

(4) "lance" means a non-explosive sharply pointed weapon without a harpoon head.

(f) "whaling crew" means those persons who participate directly in the harvest or attempted harvest of the bowhead whale and are under the supervision of a captain.

(g) "whaling village" means the Alaska Eskimo Whaling village in which resides a whaling captain and crew which participates in the harvest of bowhead whales and which is represented by a Commissioner of the AEWC. (h) "whaling season" means customary period of time during which the bowhead whale is harvested, either in the Spring or Fall.

Subsection 100.22 "Registration.

(e) Each captain shall register with the AEWC on forms provided by the AEWC for that purpose which disclose his name, address, age, qualifications as a captain, and his willingness to abide by the regulations of the AEWC and to require his crew to abide by those regulations.

(f) The AEWI shall take into account any reading or language difficulties in developing procedures and forms for registration.

Subsection 100.23 "Reports.

(a) Each whaling captain shall be responsible for keeping a written record of the number of whales:

(1) attempted to be harvested by using traditional weapons but not harvested,

(2) harvested by the captain or his crew, and

(3) sighted by the captain and his crew.

(b) Each whaling captain shall report the date, place, and time of any striking not resulting in harvesting and shall describe:

(1) the size and type of bowhead whale,

(2) any known latter attempted harvest or actual harvest of said whale,

(3) the reason for the captain or crew not harvesting the whale, i.e., environmental factors, the failure of traditional weapons, or other reasons, and

(4) the conditions of the whale that was not harvested.

(c) Each whaling captain shall make such other reports as the AEWC requires in order to accomplish the purposes of the regulations herein or in order to advance the scientific knowledge of the bowhead whales.

Subsection 100.24 "Permissible Harvesting Methods.

(a) No whaling captain or crew shall harvest or attempt to harvest the bowhead whale in any manner other than the traditional harvesting manner.

(b) "Traditional harvesting manner" means:

(1) only traditional weapons shall be used as defined in Subsection 100.21(e).

(2) the bowhead whale may be struck with a harpoon or darting gun with line and float attached.

(3) the shoulder gun may be used:

(i) after a line has been secured to the bowhead whale, or

(ii) when pursuing a wounded bowhead whale with a float attached to it.

(4) the lance may be used after a line has been secured to the bowhead whale.

(c) Whaling captains and crews should harvest bowhead whales that are less than 40 feet plus(+) or minus(-) 15% in length.

Subsection 100.25 "Traditional Proprietary Claim.

The bowhead whale shall belong to the captain and crew which first strikes the bowhead whale in the manner described in Subsection 100.24. Subsection 100.26 "Level of Harvest.

(a) The AEWC shall establish the levels of harvest or attempted harvest for each whaling village during each season or seasons.

(b) In establishing the levels of harvest or attempted harvest, the AEWC shall consult each whaling village.

Subsection 100.31 "Denial of Participation in Harvest and Fines.

(a) Any person who the AEWC determines has violated the regulations contained in subsection 100.24(a) and (b) and subsection 100.26 shall, after opportunity for a hearing before the AEWC, be prohibited from harvesting or attempting to harvest the bowhead whale for a period of not less than one whaling season nor more than five whaling seasons, and/or

(b) Any person who violates the regulations contained in subsection 100.24(a) and (b) and subsection 100.26 herein shall be subject to a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $10,000 as assessed by AEWC. The AEWC shall assess other fines at levels it deems appropriate, not to exceed $10,000, for other violations of this Management Plan or federal law. No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest the bowhead whale until such fine has been paid.

AEWC REGULATIONS FOR THE 1984 WHALING SEASON

A. Under authority 100.26 of the AEWC Management Plan, the AEWC establishes initial levels of attempted harvest (strikes) for bowhead whales for each whaling village during the 1984 season as follows:

Savoonga 3

Gambell 3

Kivalina 1

Wales 1

Pt. Hope 4

Wainwright 3

Barrow 8

Kaktovik 3

Nuiqsut 1

Little Diomede "0

TOTAL: 27

B. The AEWC asks each village to transfer its unused strikes to another village.

9. "LIMITATION OF USE

Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to support or contradict the position of either party regarding the jurisdiction of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946, or the Whaling Convention Act of 1949 with respect to aboriginal subsistence whaling by Alaskan Eskimos.

Date:

[Signature] John V. Byrne, Administrator National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[Signature] John Oktollik, Chairman Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission