Chukchi Hunters Harpooned Fiirst Whale of the Season


As a matter of fact, gray and bowhead whales are considered endangered species in Russian Federation and are on national Red List. However, national minorities of Chukchi Peninsula are allowed to hunt for a restricted number of these mammals. This year the Chukchis obtained a catch quota for 135 bowhead whales and 5 gray whales. Hunting season ends in November, when the Chukchi Sea is covered with ice.

Whale hunt is allowed only for national minorities as a part of their tradition

This year the first whale, female bowhead whale 12.8 meters long – was harpooned unusually early, in mid-May. Last year the season was open only by May 29. The harpooner brigade threw a traditional party ashore right away! The meat and whale fat with skin, mantak, was given away to the locals.

Photo: Shutterstock.