The Value of a Polar Bear: Evaluating the Role of a Multiple-Use Resource in the Nunavut Mixed Economy

Dowsley, Martha
January 2010
Arctic Anthropology;2010, Vol. 47 Issue 1, p39
Academic Journal
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a common pool resource that contributes to both the subsistence and monetary aspects of the Nunavut mixed economy through its use as food, the sale of hides in the fur trade, and sport hunt outfitting. Sport hunting is more financially profitable than subsistence hunting; however, the proportion of the polar bear quota devoted to the sport hunt has become relatively stable at approximately 20% across Nunavut. This ratio suggests local Inuit organizations are not using a neoclassical economic model based on profit maximization. This paper examines local-level hunting organizations and their institutions (as sets of rules) governing the sport and Inuit subsistence hunts from both formalist and substantivist economic perspectives. It concludes that profit maximization is used within the sport hunting sphere, which fits a neoclassical model of economic rationality. A second and parallel system, better viewed through the substantivist perspective, demonstrates that the communities focus on longer-term goals to maintain and reproduce the socio-economic system of the subsistence economy, which is predicated on maintaining social, human-environment, and human- polar bear relations.


Related Articles

  • Global Warming Threatens Polar Bear Hunting. Samuel, Dave // Bowhunter;Oct/Nov2007, Vol. 37 Issue 1, p154 

    The article reports on the impact global warming has on the hunting of polar bears.

  • New bill could let U.S. hunters retrieve stranded Nunavut polar bear trophies.  // Eastern Door;2/7/2014, Vol. 23 Issue 5, p3 

    The article reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the bill, Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act which will allow U.S. hunters to bring back their polar bear trophies from Canada.

  • White on. Miranda, Tom // Bowhunter;Aug2011, Vol. 40 Issue 9, p28 

    A personal narrative is presented which explores the author's experience of bowhunting polar bears in the Arctic.

  • SCORECARD.  // Sports Illustrated;09/27/1965, Vol. 23 Issue 13, p12 

    The article covers issues related to sports as of September 27, 1965. A conference on the management of polar-bear hunting was attended by the U.S., Canada, Denmark, Norway and the Soviet Union. Peter Koller Nielsen, an exchange student from Denmark, played football for Louisville High School in...

  • Coming to Town. Orme, Helen // Polar Bears in Danger;2007, p18 

    A chapter of the book "Polar Bears in Danger" is presented. It describes the way polar bears are treated when they come to towns of Northern Canada. Polar bears come to towns to look for food. There are special hunters who put polar bears to sleep through the use of a dart gun in order to...

  • Hunting Polar Bears. Orme, Helen // Polar Bears in Danger;2007, p14 

    A chapter of the book "Polar Bears in Danger" is presented. It deals with polar bear hunting. Polar bears are being hunted by the Inuit people of Northern Canada for their meat and fur. Others hunt polar bears for sport. Because of the decreasing number of polar bears, laws were passed to limit...

  • FIELD NOTES. Layne, Elizabeth N. // American Heritage;Apr1970, Vol. 21 Issue 3, p116 

    The article presents news briefs on United States. The Clearwater is the first Hudson River sloop built in the 20th century that was owned by Captain Allan Aunapu. It is observed that power-driven appliances in homes cause excessive noise and are a major cause of hearing loss. A warning is...

  • The Utility of Harvest Recoveries of Marked Individuals to Assess Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Survival. PEACOCK, ELIZABETH; LAAKE, JEFF; LAIDRE, KRISTIN L.; BORN, ERIK W.; ATKINSON, STEPHEN N. // Arctic;Dec2012, Vol. 65 Issue 4, p391 

    Management of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations requires the periodic assessment of life history metrics such as survival rate. This information is frequently obtained during short-term capture and marking efforts (e.g., over the course of three years) that result in hundreds of marked...

  • Skin in the Game.  // Mother Jones;Jul\Aug2015, Vol. 40 Issue 4, p16 

    The article offers brief information on the hunting of polar bears in Canada, dealing with topics including how only indigenous peoples are allowed to hunt the bears, how subsistence hunting permits are issued in the country by lottery and how indigenous hunters often keep the polar bear meat...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics