Point Lay lands first whale in 70 years

Posted: Friday, May 08, 2009

ANCHORAGE - Two crews from Point Lay have landed the community's first bowhead whale in 70 years.

Whaling captains Julias Rexford Sr. and Thomas Nukapigak led the effort for the community of 250 people on the Chukchi Sea coast.

The Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission last year lifted restrictions to allow the village to take one whale per year.

Many residents worked to get the whale out of the water and onto the ice, where they removed the muktuk - the chewy blubber.

Resident Sophie Henry tells Anchorage television station KTUU everyone was excited but it was difficult and long work getting the whale onto the ice, inch by inch.

She says Point Lay plans to share its bounty with other communities, including Wainwright, Point Hope and Barrow.

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