By The Associated Press
Channel 2 News
8:25 AM AKDT, June 6, 2012
Alaska's Congressional delegation has introduced legislation calling for the U.S. Department of Commerce to set catch limits for Alaska Native whaling communities if the International Whaling Commission fails to act on a request for a six-year extension of current quotas.
The current limits are set to expire at the end of the year.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska) introduced the bill in the Senate Tuesday.
Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) is sponsoring an identical bill in the House.
A delegation press release says the legislation is a precautionary move should the whaling commission fail to act on the quotas-extension request at its meeting next month in Panama because of political differences over other issues.
The Alaska Whaling Commission say the legislation sends an important message to the IWC.