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Whale Lower Jaw - Uelkal

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Whale Lower Jaw - Uelkal
16.08.2019
Whale Lower Jaw - Uelkal

In the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, traditional whaling has been preserved. During the expeditionary work, employees of the Arctic biomonitoring laboratory visited the village of Uelkal in early August, whose indigenous inhabitants are engaged in the extraction of sea animals.

The name of the settlement located on the coast of the Bering Sea, from the Eskimo is translated as "the lower jaw of a whale." Locals talked about sea hunting and local traditions. Currently, they are engaged in fishing, periodically catching gray whales. Experienced whalers have been working here since the end of the 20th century and cannot imagine a diet without mantaka (whale skin with a layer of pink fat), whale meat, and other marine mammals.

It is known that persistent organic pollutants may be contained in the fat of migratory species of marine animals. An analysis of their content in marine biota in the eastern sector of the Russian Arctic is an urgent task for the laboratory of Arctic biomonitoring.

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