The Makah Indians had an unsuccessful day of whale hunting off the coast of Washington yesterday, the tribe’s first hunt in more than 70 years. The Makah expect to harpoon a whale during coming weeks and placed part of the blame for their failure to do so yesterday on protestors whose boats followed them to sea. Two protestors were arrested, accused of throwing smoke bombs, shooting flares, and threatening the lives of the whaling crew. The U.S. government struck a deal with the International Whaling Commission in 1997 that allows the Makahs to kill up to five whales a year through 2004.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.