Pangnirtung Inuit and the Greenland Shark

Published online on 22. May 2012

Pangnirtung Inuit and the Greenland Shark: Co-producing Knowledge of a Little Discussed Species

Carlos Julián Idrobo and Fikret Berkes


When faced with a species that is seldom encountered or discussed, can local or indigenous people piece together their accumulated experience to make inferences about the ecology of that species? In this paper the Greenland shark acts as a model to study how the Inuit of southern Baffin Island are able to produce ecological knowledge. We examine experiential information, reflections, variations in knowledge, and sense-making related to the Greenland Shark, and present a knowledge co-production process based on heuristic reasoning. The process of knowledge co-production has similarities to fuzzy logic, and highlights the adaptability and versatility of indigenous knowledge systems to generate new understandings about the species and its role in the Arctic marine environment. Interactions between the Inuit and researchers can provide a forum to facilitate knowledge co-production, and can be used as a strategy to engage the Indigenous and traditional peoples in resource management and conservation.

Human Ecology 2012, DOI: 10.1007/s10745-012-9490-7



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