Harvesting our native food

by Peter Twitchell

Just recently a few days ago there were hunters outside of Nome on the Bering Sea who were trapped in ice floe when the weather closed in. Water started spraying the men with sea water till they were soaked and became hypothermic. They called for help and were rescued when the weather cleared.
The men had to crawl over thin and broken ice to be rescued. They all were hospitalized and barely survived.
The men became excited about a herd of about 30 walrus on an iceberg outside of Nome and risked their lives to get their native food that has been scarce in recent years.
Due to the fact that people weren’t allowed to harvest walrus caused a population too great to sustain their steady diet of ocean bottom mussels. The walrus started eating rocks at the bottom of the Bering Sea and became sick and were dying in great numbers.
In recent years Alaskans were finding dead walrus along the Bering Sea coast and elsewhere in our State. Our native people have been vigilant in their harvests of sea mammals and keeping the numbers of their harvests sustainable.
We continue to fool with Mother Nature we will not have the resource like walruses to sustain our native diet of sea mammals.
This story was shared with me by a friend from Nome.