Murkowski Congratulates AEWC’s Work on Quota Renewal for Subsistence Whaling
‘Importance of subsistence whaling for both the food security and cultural vitality of Arctic communities cannot be understated’
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) welcomed the approval of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission’s (AEWC) bowhead whale harvest quota at the 67th Meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Florianopolis, Brazil. In addition to approving a renewal of bowhead harvest quota for Alaska’s Arctic whaling communities, IWC Commissioners voted to approve an amendment allowing for the automatic renewal of bowhead whale quota contingent on the continued health and stability of the bowhead whale population.
“The importance of subsistence whaling for both the food security and cultural vitality of Arctic communities cannot be understated. The proposal that just passed at the IWC’s 67th annual meeting is an important step forward to ensure that whaling communities of Alaska’s Arctic are assured of their traditional right to the bowhead whale harvest. By allowing for the automatic renewal of quota based on rigorous scientific assessment of the bowhead whale stock, the IWC has demonstrated its commitment to the security of indigenous whaling communities and provided greater certainty for Alaskans who participate in the hunt,” said Senator Murkowski. “My heartfelt thanks go out to the members of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, who play a central role in safeguarding the sustainable and enduring health of our bowhead whale populations, and to the members of the United States delegation. I applaud their hard work, which is evident the International Whaling Commission’s overwhelming support for Alaska’s subsistence whalers.”
Background: Alaska’s Inupiat and Siberian Yupik communities have been hunting the bowhead whale for millennia. Under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, harvest quotas for aboriginal subsistence whaling are agreed upon by the nations that comprise the International Whaling Commission. The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission cooperatively manages the bowhead whale stock in conjunction with the National Marine Fisheries Service. The work of the AEWC supports the sustained viability of the bowhead whale stock and the continued tradition of subsistence whaling in Alaska.