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Bearded Seal (Erignathus barbatus)

Subsistence Use

Bearded seals are hunted by coastal Alaska Natives from Bristol Bay to Kaktovik for human consumption (meat and seal oil) and the skins are used for their umiaks (skin boats), clothing, rope, and handicrafts. It is currently unknown how many seals are harvested, but indications are that the harvest is sustainable. The Ice Seal Committee and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are surveying a sample of coastal villages to monitor the harvest of bearded seals.