Marine Mammals Management
Alaska Region


Polar Bear

Co-Management with Alaska Natives

Section 119 of the 1994 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act allows the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements with Alaska anclogo Native Organizations to conserve marine mammals and provide co-management of subsistence use by Alaska Natives. The Alaska Nanuuq Commission was established in 1994 and represents Native interests regarding polar bears for 15 villages in northern and western coastal Alaska; has been involved in the following:

  1. developing the U.S.-Russia bilateral conservation agreement;
  2. coordinating a study to collect traditional knowledge of polar bear habitat use in Chukotka, Russia;
  3. initiating a study to collect traditional knowledge regarding cultural values of polar bears to Alaska Natives;
  4. funding ongoing efforts to increase polar bear-human safety in Alaskan villages;
  5. participating in a polar bear feeding ecology study; and participating in the Alaska Monitoring and Tissue (contaminant) Archival Program.

For more information regarding the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, visit







Last updated: July 7, 2014