Is sustainable resource utilisation a relevant concept in Avanersuaq? The walrus case

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  • Astrid Oberborbeck Andersen, Univ Copenhagen, University of Copenhagen, Dept Anthropol, Technoanthropol Res Grp, Dept Learning & Philosophy
  • ,
  • Mads Peter Heide-Jorgensen, Greenland Representat, Greenland Inst Nat Resources
  • ,
  • Janne Flora

This article addresses the role of Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in present-day Avanersuaq from anthropological and biological perspectives, and asks whether or not sustainable resource utilisation is a useful concept in northwest Greenland. We describe the relations that unfold around walrus and walrus hunting, in the communities living adjacent to the North Water polynya on the eastern side of Smith Sound. We examine the interplay of walrus population abundance, hunting practices, uses, and formal (governmental) and informal (traditional) ways of regulating the hunt, and we analyse how walruses acquire multiple values as they circulate in different networks. Sustainable resource utilisation, we conclude, is a concept that is relevant in Avanersuaq and beyond, because it works as a biological standard, and hence organises laws, norms, and practices of formal management. Simultaneously, the term is problematic, because it ignores manifold levels of human and societal values connected to walrus.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftAmbio
Vol/bind47
NummerS2
Sider (fra-til)265-280
Antal sider16
ISSN0044-7447
DOI
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2018

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