The international body on whaling has renewed a five-year whaling quota for Eskimos for subsistence hunting in the us and Russia on May 29. The 76-nation International Whaling Commission voted by consensus to allow 280 bowhead whales to be hunted and caught until 2012. About 260 bowheads were reserved for Alaskan natives in 10 villages, with 20 bowheads for the Russians.
Harvesting whales is a sacred accomplishment by many Alaskan Eskimos who rely heavily on the meat as food. Ceremonial dances are held to bless the hunts and successful harvests prompt village celebrations where the meat is cut up and distributed. Japan, which wants quotas to hunt minke whales, supported the move but was unhappy that it had not yet got the long sought "community whaling" status.
Meanwhile, in a separate vote, Greenland's proposal to expand its indigenous hunting of minkes was opposed and the decision postponed.
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