what we do
In Russia, nanuuq hunting has been banned since 1956 when the bear was classified as
endangered in the Soviet "Red Book" of Endangered Species. In 1989 the former Soviet
Union notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that it had reclassified the polar bears in the
Bering and Chuckchi Seas as a "recovered population" and it wished to share in the harvest
from this population. A treaty was negotiated that
established a process to determine harvests limits from
this population for Alaska Natives and Natives of
Chukotka. The Alaska Nanuuq Commission
participated as a full partner in the U.S./Russia
Bilateral treaty along with the Association of
Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka.
KEY FEATURES OF THE POLAR BEAR TREATY:
A four member Joint Commission was formed to
established annual harvest limits, the committee consisted of representatives from:
US Government /USFWS
Russian Federation/ Ministry of Natural Resources
Alaska Nanuuq Commission (ANC)
Association of Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka (ATMMHC).
The commission will operate on a unanimous basis. The treaty will be implemented by an
agreement by the ANC and the ATMMHC. The Alaska Nanuuq Commission and the
ATMMHC will establish how harvests limits are distributed.
The ANC in Cooperation with the ATMMHC held various meetings in the United States and
Russia to negotiate a Native to Native polar bear conservation agreement to implement the
US-Russia Bilateral Agreement on the conservation and management of the
Alaska-Chukotka polar bear.
The ANC and the ATMMHC developed a contract for the ANC to provide technical
assistance in developing a polar bear habitat study. The Alaska Nanuuq Commission also
assisted in developing and distributing of information about the conservation of polar bears,
the bilateral agreements and ways of avoiding problem bear encounters.