Association of Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka

Eduard Zdor
Assistant secretary of ATMMHC

The Association of Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka (ATMMHC) was formed a few years ago at a general assembly of marine hunters of eastern Chukotka. Today, the association consists of 300 professional hunters, 500 individual hunters, 2500 members of hunters’ families, 25 native villages, and 10,000 traditional consumers of marine mammal products.

The Association has five commissions:
· Polar Bear Commission, Chair: Vladilen I. Kavry;
· Fisheries Commission, Chair: Oleg P. Yatynto;
· Seal Commission, Chair: Sergey Pucheneut;
· Whaling Commission, Chair: Gennadiy V. Inankeuyas; and
· Walrus Commission, Chair: Igor N. Makotrik.

The main goals and tasks of the Association are:
· preservation of traditional marine hunting as the basis of indigenous peoples’ traditional subsistence;
· preservation of marine mammal populations and marine biodiversity;
· representation of marine hunters’ interests at international, national and regional levels;
· participation in the rational distribution of marine mammal quotas between members of the Association;
· preservation of traditional marine hunting from commercialisation;
· coordination of sea-food products’ marketing according to the requirements of international conventions;
· coordination of research programs on marine hunting; and
· collection of native peoples’ traditional knowledge.

Priority programs of the Association are:
· establishment of the ATMMHC organisational structure for implementing scientific, conservation and other projects, and protecting interests of marine mammal hunters;
· the legal support of marine mammal hunters, willing to establish community enterprises and other non-government entities in order to preserve traditional subsistence (development of the charters, by-laws, articles of incorporation, and assistance in registration);
· organisation of seminars, training and exchanges for native grey and bowhead whale harvesting;
· establishment of a service and consulting centre for repair and service of the outboard motors and navigation equipment (radios and GPS);
· establishment of a shop in Chukotka to produce aluminium boats for marine mammal hunting;
· organisation of a program for improving hunter safety; and
· development of health programs for marine mammal hunters.

In June 2003, in the village Lorino (Chukotsk District) the board meeting of the ATMMHC took place, at which the annual report of the Association was presented. It was noted that ATMMHC had become a significant public organisation in questions of legislation and the defence of marine hunters’ interests. Among the main problems of the hunters mentioned were the low salaries, the processing of marine products, the establishment of facilities for health rehabilitation of marine hunters, etc.

Together with scientific organisations from Russia, USA and other countries, ATMMHC participates in projects dealing with traditional knowledge of polar bears, and biological and migrational studies on marine mammals.

During recent years the Association has achieved representation at the international level in negotiations about the distribution of harvesting quota of marine mammals. Formerly the hunters were represented by officials of various Russian departments. One of the representatives of the Association is its Chairman, Gennadiy Inankeuyas, from the village of Lorino, where many well-known marine hunters live.

Association of Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka (ATMMHC)
ul. Polyarnaya 20-14, Anadyr, Chukotka A.O, Russia 689000
phone/fax: +7-(42722) 2-2531
689315, Lorino, Gagarina 14-5;
phone/fax: +7-(42736) 9-3355