Since the 1970s, the United States whaling law has seen a tension between protecting the rights of many endangered, commercially hunted whales and protecting the rights of indigenous communities within the United States for whom whaling remains a traditional cultural practice. The United States have been active members in the International Whaling Commission (which was founded in Washington D.C. in 1946) and federally imposes a quota system on those communities which maintain whaling as a cultural institution. These quotas are based mainly on yearly reports mediated through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration regarding the relative size and repopulation trends of North American whale species, and aim to promote sustainable, responsible whaling.
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