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Soundings Archive

NMFS Establishes Bowhead Whaling Quotas
The National Marine Fisheries has published the aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales that NMFS has assigned to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. NMFS has also published limitations on the use of the quota deriving from regulations of the International Whaling Commission. For 2013, the quota is 75 bowhead whales struck. This quota and other applicable limitations govern the harvest of bowhead whales by members of the AEWC. The quota and limitations are effective February 26, 2013.

An arrangement between the United States and the Russian Federation ensures that the total quota of bowhead whales landed and struck in 2013 will not exceed the limits set by the IWC. Under this arrangement, the Russian natives may use no more than seven strikes, and the Alaska Eskimos may use no more than 75 strikes. Through its cooperative agreement with the AEWC, NOAA has assigned 75 strikes to the Alaska Eskimos. The AEWC will in turn allocate these strikes among the 11 villages whose cultural and subsistence needs have been documented, and will ensure that its hunters use no more than 75 strikes.

  • Click here to read Federal Register notice of quotas
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