Subsistence Research
Subsistence Harvest Monitoring and Traditional Knowledge

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Jars of oil rendered from sea lion (left) and harbor seal (right), Akutan, 2009

With funding from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Alaska Native Harbor Seal Commission and ADF&Gā€™s Division of Subsistence conducted voluntary household surveys in approximately 65 communities to estimate annual subsistence takes of harbor seals and sea lions. Data are available for 1992 ā€“ 1998, and 2000 ā€“ 2008. Also, household harvest surveys took place in Kodiak Island communities for 2011 and Southeast Alaska communities for 2012. Results appear for each study year in reports in the Division of Subsistence Technical Paper Series.

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Distribution of walrus harvest from Round Island, Bristol Bay, at Togiak, 2013

Subsistence harvest data for all marine mammals are also collected as part of comprehensive household surveys conducted in selected Alaska communities. The findings are summarized in the Community Subsistence Information System (CSIS) database. The database can be searched by community or species.

Several ADF&G projects have systematically reported traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) about marine mammals collected from subsistence hunters and users. Topics include population trends, habitats and ranges, behaviors, diets, condition, and traditional uses. A compilation of TEK about harbor seals and sea lions collected in the 1990s appears in Division of Subsistence Technical Paper 249 (PDF 1,350 kB). For subsistence harvest information for ice seal monitoring, this is collected by the ADF&G, Division Wildlife Conservation.