Despite the lingering effects of winter, spring whaling has begun in Arctic Alaska and seal hunters are also heading to the coast from Chevak in the Southwest part of the state. Grace Levettte with the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission in Barrow confirmed that whaling crews on St Lawrence Island have landed a total of three bowheads so far – two for Gambell and one for Savoonga.
Farther south on the mainland, seal hunters from the Cu’pik community of Chevak are hauling their boats to the coast for spring seal hunts. John Atchak lives in Chevak and is a long time hunter. He’s been watching hunters head to favorite coastal spots toward Hopper Bay and Nelson Island.
He says harbor, spotted and bearded seals are an important part of Cu’pik dinners.
“That’s our mainstay diet in our area and it provides a lot of iron for our bodies, required iron, and it’s a real healthy food,” Atchak said.
Atchak says local hunters haul their boats behind snowmachines on homemade wooden sleds, traveling from eight to 30 miles. He says crews with at least 10 boats have left over the past two days. Sometime in May, when they see the right signs, they will hunt belugas.
“When the herring arrive, that’s when the beluga arrive, along with the fish,” Atchak said.
Atchak says they will hunt until mid May.
- Juneau's long-awaited 32-unit Housing First apartment complex will welcome its first batch of formerly homeless residents within the week. The $8.3 million project came together through community support in cash and donated materials and services.
- Nikoosh Carlo began work this month in a newly created position: senior adviser for climate.
- The Alaska ferry Taku's next life will be as a floating hotel. Portland-based KeyMar LLC made the winning bid of $300,000 for the 54-year-old ship.
- According to a news release, Wilson "Will" Woodrow Curtis-Collins is a person of interest after a reported disturbance about 12:40 a.m. today near the 1800 block of Northwood Drive.