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H.R. 6624 (110th): Whaling Convention Amendments Act of 2008

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 24, 2008 (Introduced).



2d Session

H. R. 6624


July 24, 2008

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


To amend the Whaling Convention Act so that it expressly applies to aboriginal subsistence whaling, and in particular, authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to set bowhead whale catch limits in the event that the IWC fails to adopt such limits.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Whaling Convention Amendments Act of 2008.


Amendment of Whaling Convention Act

The Whaling Convention Act of 1949 (16 U.S.C. 916 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:


Aboriginal subsistence whaling


In General

The Secretary of Commerce, or such officer as may be designated by the Secretary, shall authorize aboriginal subsistence whaling pursuant to paragraph 13 of the regulations of the Commission (or any successor to such paragraph), if such whaling—


is for subsistence purposes (including the sale of authentic native articles of handicrafts and clothing);


does not include the striking, taking, or killing of calves or any whale accompanied by a calf; and


is not accomplished in a wasteful manner.


Catch Limits for Bowhead Whales


The Secretary of Commerce shall establish catch limits for the Alaska Native aboriginal subsistence hunt of bowhead whales for any year or set of years, if the Secretary determines that—


the Commission has failed to adopt catch limits applicable to the hunt for such year or set of years; and


the biological status of the affected bowhead stock or stocks is such that, based on the most recent review of the status of such stock or stocks by the Scientific Committee of the Commission, the aboriginal subsistence needs request submitted by the United States to the Commission for that year or set of years is sustainable.


The catch limits established by the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall not exceed the aboriginal subsistence needs request submitted by the United States to the Commission.


Nothing in paragraph (1) relieves the United States Commissioner of his or her obligation to continue seeking approval from the Commission of catch limits that provide for Alaska Native aboriginal subsistence need for bowhead whales.



Implementing regulations

The Secretary of Commerce shall issue any regulations necessary to implement section 15 of the Whaling Convention Act of 1949, as added by section 2, no later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act. The Secretary shall review and update such regulations as needed at least once every 5 years after the date on which the Secretary issues the regulations as a final rule.