Marine mammals, fish, and terrestrial mammals are important subsistence resources for residents of the North Slope. These animals help fill an important nutritional and cultural need for Inupiat residents. The North Slope Borough is initiating a comprehensive health assessment program. As we make additional progress, the web pages below will be updated.

Contained on these web pages are results from some of the North Slope Borough studies that have been conducted to date.  Residents of the North Slope are particularly concerned about whether animals are contaminated.  If they are, there may be a risk to the fish and wildlife or to the people who consume them. Much of our Department’s focus has been on documenting contaminant levels in various tissues, which are low, compared to other areas in the Arctic. We have also conducted some disease screening, diet analyses, and other studies on the health of Arctic animals within the North Slope Borough.

Measuring the blubber thickness from a bowhead whale caught during the spring subsistence hunt in Barrow in 2003. Photo: Craig George

Measuring the blubber thickness from a bowhead whale caught during the spring subsistence hunt in Barrow in 2003. Photo: Craig George.