Forces of Change

Sea Ice: A Hunter’s Friend

To Arctic residents, decreased sea ice is not an abstract theory. It is an everyday reality.

Sea ice that is thinner, arrives later, and breaks up earlier means that Arctic hunters don’t have a safe platform from which to hunt. It also means that seals, walrus, and other marine mammals that depend on sea ice are moving farther north, out of reach of local hunters.

Arctic communities worry that the longtime staples of their diets may become inaccessible.

The Inuit traditionally hunt seals from the ice, but one way to cope with a warming climate is to hunt seals from boats in open water instead of from ice floes.
Photos © Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography
The sea ice shifts around a lot. In recent years, some hunters  have found it too dangerous to step onto the ice.
Photo © Bryan and Cherry Alexander Photography