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Alaska Department of Fish and Game

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Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

Subsistence Use

Walruses are an essential nutritional and cultural marine resource used by Alaska Natives throughout western and northern Alaska. Several thousand walruses are legally harvested in Alaska and Russia every year. The meat, blubber, skin, and organs provide a healthy and rich source of food, the hides can be processed into rope or used to cover boats, and the stomach lining is used to make traditional drums for Eskimo dances. The ivory tusks are hand carved into jewelry, artwork, and other handicrafts.


Walrus viewing at Round Island Pacific walrus have appealed to and attracted much attention in literature, folklore, and artwork. They are a popular subject for wildlife viewing, photography, artwork, and ecotourism, which provides jobs and economic benefits to a number of communities in Alaska.

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