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subsistence

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

For the last century, reindeer have roamed St. Paul Island without much oversight.

But now, the tribal government is stepping up its management style to boost subsistence options and the local economy.

Fleshy red reindeer quarters are spread across the tables of St. Paul’s tavern. Surrounding them are eager preteens, wielding knives and wearing plastic gloves.

“I don’t think we can cut through this bone," says one student. "It’s like that thick.”

“No! You don’t want to cut through the bone," a teacher responds. 

Zoë Sobel/KUCB

St. Paul’s greenhouse isn’t what you’d imagine. There’s no big glass structure. All the windows are covered from the inside. It’s underneath the city’s grocery store on the first floor of the building.

It’s hydroponic. Blue and red LED lights hang suspended above the plants. Pumps fill the room with white noise.

"Let’s try to find a big one,” said greenhouse manager Dallas Roberts.

He drops by on a recent afternoon to harvest six heads of lettuce.

Courtesy Lauren Divine

 

Gregory Fratis Sr. isn’t a fan of salmon.

“Fresh cooked salmon, uh, uh. I don’t like it,” said Fratis. “I can taste that fishy taste.”

The 76-year-old says salmon aren’t worth the trouble. It takes too more time to catch and process each individual fish. To fill his freezer for the year, he’d rather catch seal, one of the Pribilof Islands’ traditional foods.

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Unalaskans are worried about the sockeye salmon run at Front Beach — thanks to a growing number of nets and seemingly fewer fish.

That's why the Unalaska/Dutch Harbor Fish and Game Advisory Committee has proposed a new regulation aimed at conserving reds.

"Our motion is to submit an agenda change request to limit the number of sockeye taken from Front Beach with subsistence gear to no more than 10 per permit holder," said Secretary Jennifer Shockley at Tuesday's committee meeting.

Office of Subsistence Management

For the first time ever, Unalaska is hosting the group that guides federal subsistence rules in Southwest Alaska. 

Since it formed in the 1990s, the Kodiak/Aleutians Subsistence Regional Advisory Council has met mostly in Kodiak and Cold Bay.

But next week, the Council will gather at the Grand Aleutian Hotel for a two-day discussion of hunting and fishing issues around the region.

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