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Traditional Knowledge Featured at Mystic Aquarium’s Upcoming Beluga Conference


Mystic, Conn. (March 7, 2019): In less than a week, over 100 of the greatest minds in beluga conservation will gather in Mystic to participate in the Second International Workshop on Beluga Research and Conservation. Over the last several weeks, Mystic Aquarium has unveiled additional conference details including highlights of daily presentations. Of the major topics over the three-day conference scheduled for March 12-14, 2019, none are more important than the panels on traditional ecological knowledge.

“Traditional Ecological Knowledge is critical to advancing our knowledge on beluga whales,” said Dr. Tracy Romano, Vice President of Research & Chief Scientist at Mystic Aquarium and chair of the conference committee. “Partnerships with the people that live in the Arctic and know the animals and environment firsthand, paired with scientific inquiry, are the only way that we can truly make headway in beluga research and conservation.”

The first Traditional Ecological Knowledge panel, Arctic Communities and Beluga Whales, scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, March 12, will be moderated by Henry Huntington of Ocean Conservancy. Participants who are from Arctic communities will discuss their community’s relationship with beluga whales, how traditional knowledge reflects that relationship, and what they would like the rest of the world to know about them and belugas in their area.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge panel II, scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, will again be moderated by Huntington. During Using Traditional Knowledge in Management and Conservation, native subsistence hunters, scientists and managers from different regions will share their experiences drawing on traditional as well as scientific knowledge in their work. Topics are expected to include triumphs and challenges as well as the relationship between traditional and modern wildlife management practices related to beluga whales.

With the overall goal of the conference to connect, collaborate and share traditional knowledge and explore advances in aquarium husbandry, field biology and the latest science impacting beluga whales, an esteemed panel of presenters will address major topics over the three-day conference.

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