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Native Villages Report Low Walrus Harvest
Two Native villages on Alaska's remote St. Lawrence Island are reporting their smallest walrus harvest in memory.
ANCHORAGE- Two Native villages on Alaska's remote St. Lawrence Island are reporting their smallest walrus harvest in memory. Residents of Gambell and Savoonga say people are hurting not just in the lack of walrus meat but also in the lack of walrus tusks. With few employment opportunities, many in the two Yup'ik Eskimo communities are carvers who rely on money from the sales of ivory artwork. According to locals, the typical annual harvest of walrus, based on a 10-year average, is 675 animals for Gambell and 578 for Savoonga. This year, Gambell residents harvested 108 walrus with another 76 taken by Savoonga. Gambell tribal president Eddie Ungott says the two villages are working together on issuing a disaster declaration. Area state lawmakers are asking Gov. Sean Parnell to monitor the situation.