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Accession Number PB2013-108742
Title Subsistence Use and Knowledge of Salmon in Barrow and Nuiqsut, Alaska.
Publication Date Mar 2013
Media Count 58p
Personal Author C. Carothers K. Moerlein S. Cotton
Abstract Environmental change, combined with local observations of increasing numbers of salmon in subsistence fisheries, has generated a need for more information about salmon use, abundance, and distribution in the Arctic. Ethnographic research was conducted in Barrow and Nuiqsut, Alaska, in 2010 and 2011 with 41 active fishermen and elders. Subsistence salmon harvests are generally perceived to be increasing; however, perceptions about changing salmon abundance are mixed. While pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) and chum salmon (O. keta) have been regularly documented in subsistence fisheries in the central North Slope region, only within the last 10 to 20 years has local use of these resources begun to increase. In this region, salmon are a minor subsistence resource compared to whitefish species (Coregonus spp.) and Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma). However, fishermen participating in the growing Elson Lagoon subsistence gill net fishery near Barrow regularly harvest chum salmon and pink salmon. These species of salmon are described by some local fishermen as nuisance species; some avoid setting their gill nets during periods of high salmon abundance. Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) are increasingly targeted, but catches are generally low. While sockeye salmon (O. nerka) numbers are perceived to have increased on the North Slope, catches of this species are rare. Similarly, few coho salmon (O. kisutch) have been captured in this region. Research participants identified salmon as present or spawning in stream systems where salmon were previously not recorded, suggesting possible shifts in distribution. In both communities, we found that many active fishermen and elders did not differentiate between Pacific salmon species, and that Nuiqsut fishermen often did not differentiate salmon species from Dolly Varden. Fishermen in both communities reported developing new knowledge of salmon and increasing their use of salmon as a subsistence resource. Core Inupiat cultural values, such as sharing, food gathering, and connection to the land, were found to be key motivators for subsistence fishing in this region.
Keywords Abundance
Arctic Ocean
Biological communities
Catch effort
Species diversity

Source Agency Minerals Management Service
NTIS Subject Category 98F - Fisheries & Aquaculture
47D - Biological Oceanography
57H - Ecology
Corporate Author Alaska Univ., Fairbanks. School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1319
Contract Number N/A

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