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Arctic Imperative Summit

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Presentation on theme: "Arctic Imperative Summit"— Presentation transcript:

1 Arctic Imperative Summit
SAVOONGA Science and TEK Arctic Imperative Summit RESOURCES - George Noongwook –

2 Beaufort Sea Chukchi Sea ALASKA RUSSIA Savoonga Bering Sea Girdwood

3 EXTREMES Longest lived mammal (~ 150 yr)
Late age at sexual maturity (~20 yr) Low body temperature (~92 F) Longest baleen (~16 ft) Thickest blubber (35”) Best tasting

4 Spring time = heavy ice = active whaling = ice extent

5 Fall time = active whaling = ice extent

6 Traditional Knowledge of the Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus) around Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska
Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission / Native Village of Savoonga Private Consultant – Eagle River North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management - Barrow, AK

7 TEK bowhead whale surveys indicated:
2 migratory routes recognized Changes in abundance and distribution Timing / direction of migrations Identified migratory “staging area” Identified several local feeding area Increasing numbers of “ingutuks” or sub-adults

8 Migrations Staging Area

9 Mechanism Connecting Change to Impact
Ecological Change Impact/ Response Mediator e.g. politics, regulation, inertia e.g. economic/social system, personal choice, culture e.g. climate

10 Angyaq The Native people of Savoonga forever rely on marine mammals for food and domestic needs. We will continue this tradition.

11 Hauling up a whale

12 Subsistence camp

13 Savoonga: 2005-2006 Percent total subsistence harvest

14 Savoonga: 2005-2006 # days per week, subsistence food use

15 Satellite-tagged bowhead locations and MODIS sea ice images
March 2009

16 The Tribe has regulated the taking of marine mammals in a respectful & non-wasteful manner (Consistent with MMPA, Constitution, and By-laws of the Native Village of Savoonga 1934)

17 Survival depends upon community cooperation and sharing the marine mammal harvest

18 All of our harvests!

19 CONCERNS/THREATS Environmental Loss of marine mammal habitat
Less availability of marine subsistence resources Subsistence resources less accessible – less predictable Longer travel in open seas – increase cost / increase risk Health of marine resources Disease Changing ecosystem: “new” animals / competition Environmental concerns due to warming climate: not particularly that there are less animals…just less access/opportunity for harvest. Less predictable timing, more open water travel, more gas to burn (and more expensive gas!) increasing the costs – and risks – to families. Health of the animals – new diseases brought in with animals traveling more, also new animals (sea lions, new fishes, etc) that will compete with existing system. Also, predation by killer whales (and sharks) may occur more often in the now longer open water period.

20 CONCERNS/THREATS Industrial Oil spills Ship strikes
Acoustic disturbance / deflection Entanglement / marine trash Hazards to maritime subsistence activities

21 OPPORTUNITY Environmental Fall whaling (1990) Whale harvest
Julian date

22 OPPORTUNITY Industrial Direct communication with transiting vessels
Training / education Mitigation measures Monitoring / other science opportunities Local employment Involvement in policy-making Tribal government representation

23 Acknowledgements Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Captains / Crews
Barrow Whaling Captains Association Savoonga Whaling Captains Association North Slope Borough, Wildlife Department Mayor’s Office, North Slope Borough University of Washington Colorado State University NOAA / National Marine Fisheries Service Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks – Marine Advisory Program Texas A&M University BP and Conoco-Phillips

24 Igamsiqanaghalek!

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