Canada won't honor a U.S. treaty that allows the Makah Indians to conduct their whale hunt in Canadian waters, fishery officials say.
However, they will allow the Makah to pursue a wounded whale that later swims into Canadian waters.Beginning Thursday, the Makah are allowed by U.S. treaty rights and by the International Whaling Commission to kill up to five gray whales annually for subsistence and cultural reasons.
Over the five-year term of the agreement, they can strike 33 whales in their bid to kill a total of 20 through 2002.
The chances of Makah hunters entering Canadian waters are low now because the gray whale will be migrating south. But the Makah will hunt again in April, when the whales head north.
Paike and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers went to Port Angeles, Wash., on Tuesday to discuss the final details of the hunt with other U.S. and Canadian agencies.