Story last updated at 2:52 p.m. Thursday, September 26, 2002

Whale season opens in Barrow
The Kaktovik and Nuiqsut villages near Barrow have taken five whales so far in the fall whaling season. The first whale, a 29-footer, was taken by the Ruth Nukapigak crew from Nuiqsut on Sept. 5. They landed their second whale eight days later.

The Barrow Whaling Captains Association decided to open its season on Sept. 23, in an attempt to catch the last 13 whales left on the Barrow quota. After that, the captains plan on letting a crew from Point Hope hunt in Barrow, since Point Hope did not harvest any whales this spring.

Alaska Native whalers currently do not have an internationally approved quota for 2003. Last spring, the International Whaling Commission denied a minke whale quota to Japanese whalers. The Japanese then convinced a group of Caribbean countries to vote against the Alaska Native whale quota.

The Department of Commerce has approved funding to send six members of the Alaska Native whaling community to Washington, D.C., and then to Cambridge, England, to attend a special meeting of the International Whaling Commission in hopes of obtaining a quota for next year.

--Arctic Sounder, Barrow