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Accession Number PB2013-102715
Title Subsistence Harvest of Sub-Adult Northern Fur Seals on St. Paul Island, Alaska in 2011.
Publication Date Nov 2011
Media Count 24p
Personal Author D. B. Roberts P. I. Melovidov P. M. Lestenkof P. Z. Zavadil
Abstract On St. Paul Island, Alaska the subsistence harvest for northern fur seal meat began in 1984 when the commercial harvest for pelts ceased. Only immature males are taken for food during the subsistence harvest. The harvest has occurred annually since 1984 and fur seal continues to be an important customary traditional food for Unangan (Aleuts) of St. Paul Island. The harvest is a well-planned and orderly activity, implemented similarly to the commercial harvest for pelts only on a smaller scale in order to meet the community's needs. Young male northern fur seals are gathered by driving them from their haul-out areas to a specific killing field where they are held in a large pod. Five to ten seals are then cut from this large pod and driven to a group of three to four men who stun the animals by hitting them on the skull or upper neck with a solid wooden club. The animals are dragged a short distance away from the killing area where the chest and heart are cut open. The animals are then skinned and butchered for human consumption. For a more detailed description of the procedures of the harvest, see Humane Observer Report: Stoskopf 1984; Letcher 1985; Dorsey 1986; Zimmerman and Letcher 1986; Spraker 1987-2005. Unangam sealers today must balance the present subsistence sub-adult male fur seal harvest on the Pribilofs with the interest to reintroduce traditional management and regulation of harvests. This balance must accommodate and transition with the current needs of the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island within the context of the current and transitioning population dynamics of northern fur seals and the dramatic environmental changes occurring in the Bering Sea. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government have entered into a co-management agreement to safeguard the existence of the northern fur seal. The compilation and reporting of fur seal subsistence harvest information is an important element of this balance. This report describes the subsistence harvest of subadult northern fur seals on St. Paul Island, Alaska in 2011.
Keywords Alaska
Human consumption
Natural resource management
Northern fur seals
Population dynamics
Saint Paul Island(Alaska)

Source Agency National Marine Fisheries Service
NTIS Subject Category 47D - Biological Oceanography
48B - Natural Resource Management
Corporate Author National Marine Fisheries Service, Anchorage, AK.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1305
Contract Number NA11NMF4390132

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