THE ARCTIC COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
NORTH SLOPE BOROUGH, P. O. BOX 69, BARROW ALASKA 99723
TELEPHONE (907) 852-2611
Issue No: Seven________________________________Date: October, 1977
Jacques Cousteau Confers with Barrow Whalers
Plans Joint Arctic Expedition with Inuit
In Seattle for the "Involvement Days" conference of the Cousteau Society, famed oceanologist Jacques Cousteau met with Barrow whalers to discuss plans for four Arctic expeditions and studies of the bowhead whale. Contacted by a letter from Theresa Pederson of Council, Alaska, now a student in the University of Washington and spokesperson for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission (AEWC), he agreed to meet with the group after his major address on the U.W. campus October 28. With him was Dr. Wenk, an Adviser of the Cousteau Society and the Director, Social Management of Technology Program of the University of Washington. Also at the meeting was Ms. Pederson accompanied by scientific aide Edward Szafran, Dale Stotts, Fish and Game Commissioner of the North Slope Borough, Roger Siluk, Gambell Whaling Captain and a Commissioner of the AEWC, and Abraham Kaningok, Gambell Whaling Captain.
After reviewing the IWC on the moratorium of bowhead whaling with the group, Cousteau remarked that Western culture "could not destroy the Inuit." He went on to say that the IWC had made mistakes in the past and certainly had no jurisdiction over subsistence whaling. "If I were you," he said, "I wouldn't pay any attention to the ban."
Then after being apprised of the Inupiat environmental activities in the Arctic, he commended them for it, especially for "their concern and care for this remarkable specie," the bowhead whale. He was most concerned that plans for the study and management of the bowhead stocks proceed in the best possible manner and in the animated conversation that followed, discussed ways that his own plans for Arctic studies could further that goal. He was most pleased with work and resolutions of the ICC, especially the resolution calling for the de-militarization of the Arctic. He mentioned that the Antarctic was protected by treaty and it was significant that the proposal to do the same for the Arctic was initiated by the Inuit. He promised to use his own influence to see that come about.
Cousteau revealed that he had planned to do some extensive film work in the Arctic in 1980, but became so engrossed with the present plight of the Eskimos that he told his staff members, "We'll have to move up the schedule to help meet the temporal pressure against the Eskimos."
At this point the discussion was directed entirely on plans for the four Arctic expeditions, now slated to begin next year. One would cover the Arctic Coast and the bowhead whale; the second the Siberian Coast; the third, a trip to the North Pole; and the fourth, a trip over the top of Greenland. Cousteau immediately asked the whalers for advice on vessels and equipment to use and showed great sensitivity to their knowledge of the ice. At one point Siluk and Kaningok explained how whale strikes at one point near St. Lawrence Island produces flight responses in whales 30 miles distant. Kaningok also described the complex differences in bowhead whale color which preclude the taking of certain whales by Gambell whalers.
Cousteau welcomed the promises of support and cooperation of the whalers in planning and operation of his expeditions and said to expect his first crews to arrive in March, 1978. He said he wanted to attend the ICC Interim Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. in November and told Ms. Pederson, "Your letter has not been wasted."
Louise Keller, left, of Esca-Tech. a division of Calista Corporation, Alaskan Native regional corporation serving the Yupik Eskimos of the lower Yukon-Kuskokwim River area. On the right is Teresa Pederson, of Council, Alaska, now a student at the University of Washington. While in Washington, D.C., last spring to testify before d-2 Alaska Federal land use classification hearings, Pederson heard about the Inuit Circumpolar Conference. She was instrumental in arranging for Dr. Jeremy Stone of the Federation of American Scientists to attend the ICC as on invited observer. During the ICC June meeting, she worked hard to secure passage of ICC Resolution 77-11. Peaceful and Safe Uses of the Arctic Circumpolar Zone, adapted from the language of the Antarctic Treaty signed in the 1950's by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. (See text which follows). In Seattle this October, she arranged the meeting between Jacques Cousteau and the whalers from Barrow (See related story).
INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR CONFERENCE RESOLUTION 77-11 A RESOLUTION ON ARCTIC POLICY: PEACEFUL AND SAFE USES OF THE ARCTIC CIRCUMPOLAR ZONE
WHEREAS, we Inupiat recognize that it is in the best interests of all circumpolar people that the Arctic shall forever be used for peaceful and environmentally safe purposes; and
WHEREAS, we Inupiat are equally interested in the continuation of our homeland free of human conflict and discord; and
WHEREAS, we Inupiat acknowledge the emphatic contributions to scientific knowledge resulting from a cooperative spirit in scientific investigations of the Arctic ;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
1. the Arctic shall be used for peaceful and environmentally safe purposes only;
2. there shall be prohibited any measure of a military nature such as the establishment of military bases and fortifications, the carrying out of military maneuvers and the testing of any type of weapon and/or the disposition of any type of chemical, biological or nuclear waste ;
3. a moratorium be called on emplacement of nuclear weapons; and
4. all steps be taken to promote the objectives in the above mentioned.
EPA OFFICIAL PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR NSB
OFF SHORE DEVELOPMENT CONCERNS
In a response to a letter from NSB Mayor Eben Hopson, Barbara Blum, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promised that agency's support for his concerns regarding offshore exploration and development in the Beaufort Sea. In her letter of September 9, she wrote, "I have asked my staff to take a close look at the entire issue of the underwater seismic testing in the Alaskan Arctic in light of the prospects for accelerated oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort Sea. The Department of the Navy has offered its assistance to us in this effort." She stated that their initial investigation will focus on Potential alternatives to the use of explosives as a seismic testing method in the Arctic. She also wrote that she had asked her staff to contact the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for information regarding public participation in the development of any environmental assessment for offshore testing programs. She also committed EPA to the "need for Federal agencies to draw upon the expertise of all groups, public and private, in the development of impact assessments." Finally, she noted that the U.S., through its State Department, has indicated its environmental concern with exploratory drilling now being conducted in the Beaufort Sea by the Government of Canada. The Government of Canada, she wrote, has assured the United States that our environmental concerns were considered in the decision to proceed with the drilling. But, she added, "We will periodically review the status of the Canadian drilling project and will continue to express our environmental findings, by way of the State Department, to the Government of Canada."
ARCTIC OIL INDUSTRY STUDY AVAILABLE
A document presenting a complete analysis of all corporations and consortia with leases or permits north of the Arctic Circle in North America is available at the Planning Department, North Slope Borough, P.O. Box 69, Barrow, AK 99723. The study, the first of its kind, was developed by the Ecumenical Metropolitan Ministry of Seattle under the direction of Rev. Charles White for the ICC and the NSB. The study was carried out by Seattle consultant Oary Rlulhair. Both the NSB and ICC seek orderly negotiations with the Arctic oil industry to develop a common set of rules for all circumpolar offshore oil and gas exploration and development. This paper is a major step toward that goal.
SClENCE IN THE ARCTIC (The following remarks are excerpted from a paper delivered before the Alaska Science Conference held in Anchorage, August, 1976,by NSB Mayor Eben Hopson.)
We, Inupiat, are an indigenous circumpolar community. We have a common regional economic community of interest. For thousands of years, our common economic interests have centered upon the food chain upon which we depend for survival. Our economic and social welfare depended upon the migratory birds and animals, all protected now under international treaty. We, Inupiat, still are a community bound together by the game we hunt and eat, and we are bound even more tightly by the environment that sustains the game we hunt -- the sea. For me, the Beaufort Sea. The Arctic Ocean.
Now, since the Prudhoe Bay oil strike, we have been additionally bound by the world's need for our oil, gas and coal. For the first time in our history, others covet the wealth of our land which, until recently, was viewed by most as a frozen wasteland. Because of the world view of the Arctic as uninhabitable, relatively few scientists have become Arctic scientists. Those of you here who have developed Arctic knowledge are now becoming sought after specialists. Arctic knowledge has become a regional industry in which the demand for competent scientists is becoming greater than the supply.
Mayor, North Slope borough and Chairman, Inuit Circumpolar Conference, addresses ICC
meeting in June.
However, this regional industry is not community-based. It neither seeks nor includes the knowledge that we Inupiat possess. Rather, the industry of Arctic knowledge produces a second-hand knowledge. Arctic science seems unconnected to the wealth of Arctic knowledge stored in our language: Inupiaq. There may be an Arctic scholar who conducts his inquires in Inupiaq, but I have not met him.
Far from being community-based, the industry of Arctic knowledge is controlled by essentially foreign national and industrial interests. This industry, in which many of you here work, is not organized to meet our regional community needs, but, rather, to meet other community needs. Needs like military defense. The needs of duck-hunters of Detroit. And now, the pressing need for oil, gas and coal.
From our regional community's point of view, these have been highly specialized needs. Our community has been involved with them because it is our land on which the DEW Line was built. International game agreements have been made to protect our game, upon which we depend. There is much international military submarine traffic in our waters. And now, oil and gas are being produced from beneath our land, and our waters.
Sharing is important social behavior in the Arctic. Like most behavior, sharing has rules. One of the most important of these is that sharing be a cooperative act of give and take. Sharing is a free but necessary behavior in our community. We want to share our wealth in oil, gas and coal, but we feel that we must have a say in the means by which our fuels are extracted from our land. Sharing means to us that we must be allowed to measure environmental risks in our own Inupiaq language. For, in our language is a whole natural science of the Arctic, and we feel that others should listen to us when we warn them against making a serious mistake. Year after year, we hear of scientists discovering things at the Naval Arctic Research Lab. that are common knowledge among us. Through a sharing relationship, we could enable faster, environmentally safer, Arctic resource development. We are the experts on the ice, and ice is the biggest problem facing Arctic Shelf development.
From our point of view, we Inupiat feel that most Arctic scientific inquiry produces little new knowledge, but merely reorganizes existing knowledge to meet the needs of national interest. We feel that, through a sharing relationship, scientists could learn more about the Arctic, and we could learn more about the specialized knowledge that you have acquired. This kind of two-way knowledge production and exchange will be necessary in Arctic energy resource development, particularly offshore development. Successful sharing will support our own Arctic regional community interests while accommodating the growing need for Arctic fuels.
One of our more important needs now is strong community organization. The multi-national nature of the oil industry suggests that we should organize in the same way across national boundaries, to enable us to be assured that a single set of rules is established for all offshore development in our waters. In order to get our governments and our national oil industries to deal with us as a single circumpolar community with responsibilities to share our wealth wisely, we are going to have to get the scientific community to do so. Because governments and the oil industry rely heavily upon you in assessing their risks, and upon your advice as to how they should be handled.
We feel that a cooperative, sharing relationship with the scientific community is a necessary part of the circumpolar community organization now underway.
We are deep into organizational work to which the scientific community should be attracted. After all, Arctic science is highly problem-oriented, and the problems are regional ones that transcend national boundaries. But, the scientific community appears to be unable to organize itself to deal with problems on a circumpolar regional basis. The Canadian Beaufort Sea project illustrated this fact when it dealt only with risks of offshore drilling in the Canadian Beaufort, and ignored the American Beaufort downstream in the Beaufort gyre.
Since the Canadian Beaufort Sea offshore development program was brought to my attention last winter, I have come to conclude that national sovereignty in the Arctic must be limited by international agreements respecting oil and gas exploration and extraction procedures and technology, and environmental protection standards. Our Inupiat circumpolar community must be a party to the negotiation of these agreements, and their implementation. Because of the international nature of our Inupiat community, it appears that we must not only be party to these negotiations, but we must actually sponsor them. They are a necessary part of our circumpolar community organization program.
I feel that there is mutual opportunity here: Arctic scientists have an opportunity to assist in circumpolar community organization across national boundaries, to enable better communications and knowledge exchange within a single Arctic "laboratory", and we, Inupiat, who regard ourselves to be the trustees of this "laboratory", will be able to monitor offshore development more effectively, and influence the policies of our respective countries through the use of scientific analysis and argument. Thus, we can regionalize Arctic offshore environmental impact assessment, and free scientific inquiry in the Arctic from the limitations imposed by narrow and specialized national and industrial interests.
To sum up, Arctic energy resource development, particularly offshore development, has presented our Inupiat circumpolar community with the need for stronger regional community organization. Scientific inquiry in the Arctic could benefit from participating in this regional community organization by enabling a more holistic, less parochial study of the problems of environmentally safe oil and gas exploration and extraction, both onshore and offshore. By becoming community-based, the Arctic knowledge industry will be able to produce more knowledge, and environmental risk assessment will begin to be based upon the Arctic knowledge held by our own Inupiat community. Therefore, I propose that the scientific community join us in this regional community organization. We should strive to organize a comprehensive regional circumpolar science agenda.
THE LAST ANCHOR--NSB WHALING FILM SCORES HIGH
The 16 mm. color-sound 8-minute film on Inupiat aboriginal subsistence bowhead whaling has proven to be a valuable tool in fighting the IWC bowhead moratorium and also in making the case for conserving subsistence aboriginal lifestyles. The film is on loan for free and is also available for purchase for $50.00. It is also available in 35 mm. and Super-8 sound prints. Those wishing to show or review the film should contact the NSB office in Barrow (907) 852-2611 or in Anchorage (907) 274-2414, or write: Whaling Film, N.S.B., P.O. Box 69, Barrow, AK 99723.
ARCTIC SCIENCE GROUPS BLAST IWC BOWHEAD DATA
On October 21, David Hickok, Director of the Arctic Environmental Information and Data Center of the University of Alaska presented to the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences a critique of the information provided for the International Whaling Commission and upon which it based its determination to impose a moratorium upon Inupiat whaling. The report was prepared by Dr. Lawrence Underwood of the staff of AEIDC and was reviewed by other wildlife staff experts including Hickok.
NSB Director of Administration and Finance, Lloyd Ahvakana, discusses the IWC subsistence bowhead whaling moratorium with Assistant Secretary of State Patsy Mink. Mink came to Barrow in September to attend bowhead whaling ban EIS hearings, left Barrow advocating U..S. objection to the subsistence moratorium. Later, Mink told NSB officials that she would try to help develop U.S. support for the Arctic Coastal Zone Management Program. Mink is seen as an ally in efforts to secure strong U.S. Arctic policies.
In his cover letter sent with the study, Hickok reported: "As a member of the Alaska scientific community and a member of this board, I am greatly distressed by the actions of the government agencies involved in this issue. Factual analysis has been minimal. Hearsay, guess, and emotion have ruled the day. It is essential that our government, aided by the scientific community, determine the current status of bowhead whales and the limits of their acceptable harvest.
"I strongly urge that this board act by resolution to foster and support a complex, many-faceted, well-financed, long term scientific research program which will provide the knowledge necessary to protect whale stocks, avoid hardship to Alaska Eskimos, and diminish the likelihood of extreme societal schism in Alaska."
The Underwood study reviews the data made available to the IWC at the time of the vote on the whaling ban. He also reviews two studies released by the National Marine Fisheries Service since that time. HE concludes that there is absolutely no factual evidence to document the status of the bowhead whale since present information is "based largely on conjecture and speculation." He goes on to say, "All field studies conducted on the bowhead whale have been limited in time and space, that is observations on migrating whaler have only been conducted during the time of Eskimo harvest. The tacit assumption in all these studies has been that all whales migrate past the observation points during these fixed periods of time. However, there is evidence that some whales migrate during other periods and into other areas." A study by Bockstoce in 1977 was quoted saying, "The bowhead is the species of great whale about which the least is known, and any attempt to estimate its numbers is bound to fall in the realm of sheer guess work." In summary, Hickok wrote in his letter: "The allegations of a decline (of bowhead numbers) cannot be substantiated and, in fact, the contrary might be true."
As a result of the U of Alaska study, the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Science issued the following Resolution:
"Concerned about the lack of factual information available to the International Whaling Commission in its decision to remove the exception that allowed the Alaska Eskimos to take bowhead whales; but cognizant of the problems presented to the United States government in the development of policies affecting the conservation of international whaling stocks and the cultured welfare of Alaska Eskimos, the Polar Research Board believes that the solution to the issue of Eskimo harvest of bowhead whale stocks will only result when scientific data provide the evidence concerning the status of these stocks.
"Therefore, the Polar Research Board urges that the program proposed by the Marine Mammal Commission in its letter of September 14, 1977, to the Director of the National Marine Fisheries Service be supported by all concerned government agencies in a timely fashion."
THE BOWHEAD BATTLE
Controversy Over Inupiat Subsistence Whaling Explodes in Washington, D.C.
After September hearings into the impact of the IWC subsistence bowhead whaling ban began to result in inclinations toward filing a U.S. objection to the moratorium, the powerful whale conservationist lobby counter-attacked in October, and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission found itself in a political battle featuring skirmishes on capitol hill, the White House, and the Federal Courts right up the U.S. Supreme Court. In the end it appeared that the Inupiat community along America's Arctic Coast had failed to meet the Carter administration's test for ethnic purity, and the United States failed to file an objection to the IWC's subsistence bowhead whaling moratorium. It was clearly a case of politics over principles, and NSB Mayor Eben Hopson reacted by reaffirming that the whalers will hunt as usual come next spring, regardless of the ban.
When reports began circulating in D.C. that Assistant Secretary of State Patsy Mink was leaning toward filing an objection, and that the Secretary of Interior had recommended filing an objection, the powerful D.C. whale conservationist lobby mounted a national political campaign that included editorials in nearly every major newspaper, all of which sounded very much alike, opposing the filing of an objection. By the end of September, it was clear that the Government was coming under strong political pressure to renounce its responsibilities to protect and defend Inupiat aboriginal whaling rights, and the NSB and the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission found themselves locked with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the State Department in a classic Arctic Coastal Zone Management jurisdictional dispute.
A new factor in the politics of the subsistence bowhead whaling ban controversy was the request by Japan for a special meeting of the IWC in December to consider new data in support of restoring Japanese sperm whale quotas that were cut by the IWC last June from about 7000 to just over 700, a cut that threatens the economic life of Japan's whaling industry. Japan reportedly was afraid to file an objection for fear that U.S. whale politics would harm U.S. import quotas for Japanese steel, and other products. However, the Inupiat whaling controversy encouraged them to seek a special meeting of the IWC where the order of the day would be swapping increased subsistence bowhead quotas for increased commercial sperm whale quotas for Japan.
In last September, the IWC apparently scheduled a special review of sperm whale data by the IWC's Scientific Committee to take place in Australia in November, with the IWC meeting to be held December 6th in Tokyo. This development muddled the waters in Washington, D.C. because it caused the Carter administration to discount the importance of the need to file an objection to protect Inupiat whaling rights. After all, everyone was in agreement the bowhead quotas would be set in Tokyo enabling a legal regulated hunt next spring. This way, reasoned the Government, the U.S. could be spared the embarrassment of filing an objection, and it could still take care of the Inupiat whaling rights. However, the Government needed a credible bowhead management package to take to Tokyo, and credibility could be achieved only through the active cooperation of the Inupiat whaling community .
During September, Kotzebue's Willie Hensley was in Washington, D.C. working on the inclusion of proper subsistence rights language in the Department of Interior's D-2 legislation and he learned that the Government wanted to negotiate with the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, and reported this to NSB Mayor Eben Hopson, along with news of Washington's growing surliness about its responsibilities to file an objection. Hopson responded by arranging for the second meeting of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission to be held in Anchorage on October 7.
In Anchorage, the AEWC elected officers, and adopted the position to negotiate with the Government about bowhead research and management only if it agreed to file an objection. The Inupiat community felt that an objection was necessary to establish the good faith of the Government in its resolve to protect and defend Inupiat aboriginal whaling rights. After all, the entire problem was due to NOAA's secret 7-year effort to persuade the IWC to compromise these rights for which the Government, including NOAA, has the trust responsibility to protect. Until the Government would re-confirm this responsibility by filing the objection, there could be no cooperation between the AEWC and NOAA or any other government agency in any bowhead management regime. Without Eskimo cooperation, effective bowhead research and management along the Arctic coast would be impossible.
Following their weekend meeting in Anchorage, nine members of the AEWC flew to Washington D.C. to meet with officials in Interior, Commerce, and State, key congressmen on the hill, and both friendly and unfriendly groups of conservationists. The meetings were tense. It was clear that an unannounced decision had been made against filing an objection, and the government wanted to negotiate for Eskimo cooperation to enforce the moratorium. The AEWC refused to discuss cooperation of any kind until assurances were made that an objection would be filed. Meetings with D.C. officials became lectures about the governments trust responsibilities to protect Inupiat whaling rights, to which NOAA Director Richard Frank and other government officials merely responded that they would work to enable the Inupiat whalers to hunt come spring.
The Capital N.S.B. staff set in on a meeting of the IWC Policy Committee that met on October 12 for the likely agenda for the Tokyo meeting, and the meeting was packed with many observers never before seen at these meetings -- men and women from the Hill, the press, and other Washington institutions. To accommodate them, the discussion of the bowhead was the first item of business, and a committee was established to draft negotiating positions to take to Tokyo when it comes to trading increased sperm whale quotas for a bowhead subsistence quota. It was clear that the likelihood of such a swap nettled many on the whaling policy group. When bowhead discussions ended, over half of those present left to attend a meeting of the AEWC. William Aron, who chaired the meeting as U.S. Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), remarked in amazement as they left about the intense new politics of the bowhead whale.
The following week both the Secretaries of Commerce and State recommended against an objection, and on October 19 the the President said he would not object, giving the AEWC time to go to U.S. Federal District Court Judge John Sirica to seek an injunction. The argument was that failure to file a timely objection would impair the trust relationship between the Eskimo and the Federal government.
Moses Wassilie of Bethel covered the Inuit Circumpolar Conference for the Alaska Public Radio and Television Network. He is a producer for the (University of Alaska's public broadcasting and TV station, KUAC. -- Photo by Cysewski.
The AEWC petitioned Sirica to order the Secretary of State to file an objection by 6:00 p.m., October 24, 1977, and Sirica agreed. The Washington, D.C., Appeals Court sat in special session on Sunday, Oct. 23, to hear the Government appeal Sirica's order without dealing with the Native trust issue. The Appeals Court set aside the temporary restraining order on the grounds that international politics of overriding importance were involved. The AEWC then went to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren Berger who refused to review the case, and the headline passed without U.S. objection to the IWC ban of the subsistence hunting rights of U.S. citizens residing along America's Arctic coast. It was a distressing incident for all concerned as the issue became an international news issue, and the national image of the D.C. conservationist lobby turned even more misanthropic. The national reaction was swift on both sides of the issue, but the White House noted that the political range of support for Eskimo whaling was much broader than the conservationist opposition to it.
Presidential trouble-shooter, Vice-president Walter Mondale, and Sec. of Interior Cecil Andrus decided to try to head off trouble brewing along the Arctic coast where feeling ran high to ignore the IWC moratorium. The Associated Press, eager to stimulate conflict in the Arctic, reported menacing talk from the National Marine Fisheries Service of special Arctic coast police patrols to prevent Spring whaling. On Nov. 1, Mondale hosted a meeting in his White House Office attended by NSB Mayor Eben Hopson, AEWC Chairman Jacob Adams, Barrow Whaling Captain Association President Amold Brewer, and Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus. The Vice-president said that every effort would be made to restore bowhead subsistence quotas at the December 6 meeting of the IWC and that any regulation of the bowhead hunt or management of the species will be delegated to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. The meeting was low-key and agreeable, but Hopson assured the Vice-president that whalers would hunt in the Spring, come what may.
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