In February 2018 the Kawerak Marine Program hosted a workshop entitled “Marine Mammal Oil Spill Response.” Due to increased ship traffic and projected ship traffic in the Bering Strait, the Kawerak Marine Program has taken a proactive role in not only advocating for the protection of marine mammals that are are vital to Alaska Native subsistence users as food resources, but also hosts tribes in different forums to collect indigenous traditional knowledge on utilization of and engage the collective for ensuring the protection of the Bering Sea.

The February workshop provided detailed information on incident command structure, effects of oil spills on marine mammals, and an overview of the Arctic Marine Mammal Disaster Response Guidelines. The workshop also provided an opportunity for National Marine Fisheries Service marine mammal response staff to obtain community feedback to inform their processes.

Download the workshop report: February Workshop Report

Marine mammals provide a basis for indigenous survival for coastal peoples of the northern Bering Sea, and the Kawerak Marine Program will continue to work for their protection.

To contact our Marine Advocate, Austin Ahmasuk, email