6 Traditional Knowledge of the Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus) around Saint Lawrence Island, Alaska Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission / Native Village of SavoongaPrivate Consultant – Eagle RiverNorth Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management - Barrow, AK
7 TEK bowhead whale surveys indicated: 2 migratory routes recognizedChanges in abundance and distributionTiming / direction of migrationsIdentified migratory “staging area”Identified several local feeding areaIncreasing numbers of “ingutuks” or sub-adults
19 CONCERNS/THREATS Environmental Loss of marine mammal habitat Less availability of marine subsistence resourcesSubsistence resources less accessible – less predictableLonger travel in open seas – increase cost / increase riskHealth of marine resourcesDiseaseChanging ecosystem: “new” animals / competitionEnvironmental 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.
21 OPPORTUNITY Environmental Fall whaling (1990) Whale harvest Julian date
22 OPPORTUNITY Industrial Direct communication with transiting vessels Training / educationMitigation measuresMonitoring / other science opportunitiesLocal employmentInvolvement in policy-makingTribal government representation
23 Acknowledgements Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Captains / Crews Barrow Whaling Captains AssociationSavoonga Whaling Captains AssociationNorth Slope Borough, Wildlife DepartmentMayor’s Office, North Slope BoroughUniversity of WashingtonColorado State UniversityNOAA / National Marine Fisheries ServiceAlaska Dept. of Fish and GameUniv. of Alaska Fairbanks – Marine Advisory ProgramTexas A&M UniversityBP and Conoco-Phillips