Marine Mammal Stranding Response Program
PBT Screening Tool


TASSC staff has pursued research in two main areas to address community concern: the stranding of marine mammals and birds, and the safety of our subsistence foods from contaminants.

TASSC has a long history in actively pursuing local participation in stranding response to ma-ku. In coastal Alaska Native cultures, a dead stranded marine mammal can mean many things, from simply ma-ku (Yupik, dead beached sea mammal) to sizu (Inupiat, carcass of sea mammal drifted to shore). Based on local knowledge, hunting and fishing experience, and cultural science (TEK), coastal Alaska Native people know where dead stranded animals wash ashore in their area. Finding a dead sea mammal can be cause for a picnic or celebration. For generations, coastal Alaska Natives have scanned these beaches to salvage stranded animals for food or for cultural uses. This practice continues today. TASSC believes that scientific data from these dead stranded animals can be collected locally, while honoring customary practices and protocols.

The orca, Eyak, stranded near Cordova, Alaska. Photo © TASSC.



© 2005 The Alaska Sea Otter & Steller Sea Lion Commission 
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