A beluga whale was harvested Sunday evening near Dillingham.
The community showed up in force.
Lines of cars brought people with their totes and trash bags.
The successful hunters shared meat with everyone who came. Processing the animal took about two hours.
It was the whole hunting party’s first time to take a beluga. The three were commercial fishing for silver salmon when they saw a pod of belugas.
“We noticed one was nosing up to the beach and trying to get salmon, so we went up right to it and fired one shot, missed and got it with the next one,” Cade Woods said.
In Little Diomede, more than 500 miles away, Rebecca Ozenna’s family celebrated the catch with a traditional dance.
“Right after we landed the beluga, I called home,” Ozenna said. “I asked them to announce it so they could celebrate for us because usually when they land whales they have a really big Eskimo dance celebration and other people from different villages come in and Eskimo dance and celebrate and feast.”
In Bristol Bay, an average of 23 belugas are reported harvested each year.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the population of belugas in the bay is stable and that number is well within a sustainable harvest size.
- A new court case argues that the way in which state juries are selected in Alaska discriminates against rural, Native communities. The case could significantly impact the Delta’s court system if it’s successful.
- When a school closes in rural Alaska, families who stay face tough choices. They can send their children away to school in another village or city, or they can home school their kids. Clark’s Point fought for a third option, to reopen their school. The school, which closed in 2012, will be back in session next week.
- So far no reports of injuries in large fire that continues to burn at large, remote salmon processing plant on the Alaska Peninsula. One dock was cut away, and production facilities heavily damaged according to on-the-ground reports.
- Orutsararmiut Native Council held its first Science and Culture camp in July for high school students. Campers collected juvenile fish, like baby king and red salmon, and participated in activities in avian biology, ethnobotany and workshops on federal and state subsistence management.