Welcome to NarwhalTusks.com.
We offer narwhal tusks and narwhal skulls for sale, and provide a selection of information about the fascinating subject of narwhals.
Below is a slide show of a Artificial Life-Size Narwhal that we have for sale; interested parties can purchase the narwhal mount.
On our website, you can explore the history, biology and habitat of the narwhal, and also discover the rare phenomenon of double narwhal tusks. Narwhal tusks are prized, as harvested, for their natural beauty, but their ivory is also used in the creation of narwhal tusk ivory art.
We think you will agree that these mysterious whales are a unique and precious part of the diverse fauna of the Arctic seas.
If you have any questions about narwhal tusks or narwhal skulls, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Alaska Narwhal Tusk Bust Leads to International Smuggling Ring
ADN.com by CASEY GROVE January 9, 2014
Federal authorities have unveiled their investigation of an international smuggling ring that trafficked at least $1.5 million worth of narwhal tusks, including 19 shipped to Alaska, where the investigation started.
Two Tennessee men, Jay Conrad and Eddie Dunn, have pleaded guilty to trading in illegal animal parts in a conspiracy that stretched across several states and two countries, federal prosecutors revealed this week. Conrad and Dunn admitted to buying narwhal tusks from two Canadians who sneaked the tusks into the United States. Then Conrad and Dunn sold the tusks to various buyers, including, in Dunn's case, people in Alaska, according to court documents.
Federal agents in Alaska were the first to catch on to the scheme, a prosecutor said.
The narwhal is a protected species of whale, characterized by a long tusk protruding from its jaw, that lives in the Arctic waters of Canada and Greenland. Only Natives are allowed to harvest narwhals, and Canadians can only sell the tusks to other Canadians with a special permit. Selling the tusks to Americans has been prohibited under the Marine Mammal Protection Act since 1972.
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How an Ex-Mountie’s 10-year Narwhal-Tusk Smuggling Scheme Came Crashing Down
Little is known of Gregory Logan from court documents. He is a former Mountie, he is in his late 50s, he hails from Grand Prairie, Alta., and, from a summer home in Maine, he orchestrated what may well be the largest narwhal smuggling ring of modern times.
Logan smuggled as many as 250 narwhal tusks past a sleepy border station in northern Maine. Then, from a FedEx station in Bangor, Me., he would package up the conspicuous, spiraled tusks and send them to a network of recipients throughout the United States. Reportedly, it was a scam he kept up for more than 10 years.
This week, a New Brunswick court responded by slapping Logan with what Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq told Nunavut media was “the largest penalty ever handed down in Canada” for a wildlife offence of its kind.
The tusks are one of the most coveted objects from the natural world, adorning scepters and thrones throughout Europe, and reportedly originating the myth of the unicorn. They are really elongated, spiraled teeth that begin to pierce their way through the whale’s face at adolescence, although they are not known to have any use for the narwhals.
While any Canadian with a few thousand dollars can buy the closely regulated tusks from third-party dealers or even small network of Inuit hunters selling the specimens online, the tusks have been illegal to import into the United States since the 1972 passage of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Naturally, whatever Canadian tusks do slip through into the U.S., can fetch a steep premium from collectors.
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Narwhal 2013: Stranded in a Small Arctic Town
August 19, 2013. 12:27 pm • Section: Arctic Connection, COMMUNITY
Well, we’re still stuck in Pond Inlet.
We haven’t been able to get out into the field, and we’ve pretty much been on standby every day for the last week. The problem is that the flights are originating out of Resolute – and we need to get to Grise Fiord. Between Resolute, Pond Inlet and Grise there have been weather warnings every day – mostly wind.
Grise, as we are finding out, is also a very difficult runway to get onto as it parallels the mountain range that sits right behind the town. In addition, the runway is very short, so only small planes can get in.
There are nine of us here, and so far, everyone seems to be keeping in great spirits. Fortunately, everyone has been North before, so we are all used to the delays (although this one has been overly long).
This morning, the forecasts were much better, and the heavy snowfall predicted for Grise appears to have been pushed off to tomorrow night. As a result, we got the call this morning that the move from Resolute was on and that we could expect to get two or three loads into Grise before the duty day ends for the pilots.
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Narwhal 2013: Finally at Base Camp
August 26, 2013. 3:44 pm • Section: Arctic Connection, COMMUNITY
After a week of waiting, we’ve finally made it to our field camp in Grise Fiord. It’s here that we’ll be conducting research on narwhals: where do they come from? How long do they stay here? Where do they go next?
If there’s anything I’ve learned about doing research in the Arctic, it’s that you’re at the mercy of the weather and you can expect long waits. I write this as part of our team is still stuck in Pond Inlet, their airplane grounded due to the fog.
I, however, managed to get out of Pond Inlet with the others on the research team, flying across northern Baffin Island. A break in the clouds allowed us to peek at the rugged, mountainous terrain down below. We eventually made our way toward Ellesmere Island – Grise Fiord is on the south coast of the island.
Once we arrived in the tiny hamlet of Grise Fiord (where there was snow on the ground, unusual for this time of year), we were on to our next challenge: schlepping our gear to the rocky shore and hauling it on to the boat with only part of our team to do the heavy lifting.
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Narwhal 2013: First Sighting of Narwhals for Research
August 28, 2013. 5:07 pm • Section: Arctic Connection, COMMUNITY
After a long journey here, I’ve finally spotted the animals I have come to help research: narwhals. We saw them coming down the channel, a few on each side. They eventually met in the middle of the channel before disappearing. The Inuit on our team could tell by this behaviour that they weren’t local narwhals. The local ones tend to hug the shoreline, while those new to the area are more wary and stay closer to the middle.
Another time, we saw around a hundred narwhals pass by us. By this point, we had had our zodiacs in the water to set up a net for tagging, but they all passed without even touching it.
Although we haven’t been too lucky on the narwhal front yet, I am encouraged by the improvement in weather. It’s cold – just above zero degrees during the day and just below zero at night – but we’re not dealing with the type of wind that descended on our camp just days before. We had to move quickly to make sure everything was tied down, so that it wouldn’t all blow away.
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Narwhal 2013: One Final Research Push
September 6, 2013. 4:21 pm • Section: Arctic Connection, COMMUNITY
Our time conducting narwhal research outside Grise Fiord, Nunavut has come to an end.
With a research site picked out for next year, it was time to pack up our current site. While we broke camp, we left the net in the water, hoping that we’d have the chance to tag and measure at least one narwhal this summer.
Even though we were unsuccessful in our attempts to tag and measure any narwhals, I don’t believe that it was a total loss regarding our research efforts. In past years, we conducted our research in Tremblay Sound – this was our first year at a new location farther north. It was a learning experience that produced new partnerships between people from different fields: Fisheries and Oceans Canada, scientists, veterinarians, volunteers, and local organizations and people based in Grise Fiord.
This year’s research was made especially challenging because of the weather – it has been very unusual this year, according to local standards. I’ve been told by the locals that this type of weather (blizzards) is not usually seen until October. Not only do the wind and snow make it hard to do narwhal research; it also makes it harder to keep a watch out for polar bears too.
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Hunters Fined $80K for Hunting Without Export Permits
CBC News -
Posted: Apr 8, 2013
Mexican hunters had polar bear pelts, narwhal tusks from hunt in Nunavut
Some big-game hunters from Mexico were fined after a polar bear hunting trip in Nunavut.
The four men from Monterey, Mexico, were caught trying to leave Canada a week ago with three polar bear hides. They hunted the bears legally, but they did not have export permits.
The men also had three narwhal tusks they had apparently bought, also without permits.
Hector Martinez Jr. is a wealthy property developer in Monterey. He was travelling with his two adult sons and his godson.
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Russians Say Canadian Documents Help Polar Bear Poachers
Bob Weber, Canadian Press | 13/04/14
Russian officials are becoming increasingly concerned about polar bear poachers in their country using Canadian documents to disguise illegally hunted pelts.
“I think it is a real problem,” said Nikita Ovsyanikov, one of Russia’s top polar bear scientists and a member of the polar bear specialist group, the leading international research consortium on the mighty and controversial predators.
Ovsyanikov claims that Canadian documents required to bring hides into the country are being separated from the shipments they originally accompanied and sold separately. The certificates are then applied to skins from Russian polar bears to make them appear as if they have been legally hunted and imported.
Canada is the only country in the world that allows sport hunting of polar bears, which makes it the only country to issue certificates under the Convention on Trade In Endangered Species that allow polar bear products to cross borders.
“I’m aware of two cases where not pelts, but certificates were offered for sale on the Internet,” Ovsyanikov in an interview with The Canadian Press from Moscow. “The price was $1,000 so it was quite a profitable business.”
Groups such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare have raised similar concerns.
They have released an Internet screen grab from last October showing what appears to be a Canadian CITES certificate along with a polar bear rug. The price is 30,000 rubles — about $1,000.
“It was marked ‘Sold,’” translated Maria Vorontsova, a member of the Fund’s Moscow branch. “It was referring to the certificate, not the hide.:
Ovsyanikov said polar bear hides sell in Russia for up to $50,000.
Such pelts are increasingly popular among Russia’s elite. Canadian auction houses have said they can’t meet demand for the hides, most of which go to Russia.
Russian officials, supported by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, used concerns over the Canadian documents aiding poachers to argue that all trade in polar bear parts should be banned at the recent CITES meeting in Bangkok.
However, Canadian scientists aren’t sure there’s a problem.
Geoff York of the World Wildlife Fund said his group looked into the accusations about a year ago and failed to find much evidence.
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Polar Bear Hunt Ends in Fines
Winnipeg Free Press - Aldo Santin - Posted: 04/6/2013
Big-game hunters from Mexico legally shot and killed three polar bears this week in Canada's North but were stopped in their tracks when they tried to take the hides out of the country without the proper permits.
A Winnipeg judge blasted them with $80,000 in fines Friday, days after the hunting trip to Nunavut.
Acting on a tip, Environment Canada wildlife officers and Canada Border Services agents searched the men's private jet last Sunday as it refuelled in Winnipeg and found three polar bear hides and narwhal tusks.
The men did not have the proper export permits.
The four men pleaded guilty in provincial court Friday and paid their fines in cash.
Defence lawyer Evan Roitenberg, who represented three of the men -- a 67-year-old man and his two adult sons -- described his clients as "gentlemen of means" who simply made a mistake by trusting an outfitter who promised to provide all necessary permits.
The four men travelled to Canada on March 15 from Monterrey, Mexico, aboard a private jet, after paying $35,000 each to participate in an Arctic big-game hunt.
Polar bears are protected under Canadian law and international treaty, so polar bears can only be harvested by Inuit hunters for sustenance, or by sport hunters guided by Inuit.
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Mexicans Fined for Trying to Export Polar Bears
JAMES TURNER | QMI AGENCY
WINNIPEG - A Winnipeg judge handed out $80,000 in fines Friday to a group of high-flying Mexican trophy hunters snared at the airport without the permits required to export several polar bears they bagged on a hunting trip in Canada's north.
Hector Armando Martinez, 67, Alejandro Martinez, 35, and Gerardo Rodriguez, 41, faced infractions under federal environmental protection and international trade laws after the private jet belonging to Hector Armando Martinez was searched at the Winnipeg airport March 31.
A fourth man, Hector Martinez Martinez, 38, was charged under the Fisheries Act in connection to two narwhal tusks which were seized.
The men paid $35,000 each for a legal hunting trip to far-flung parts of Nunavut which began in mid-March, court heard. However, wildlife officials were tipped off they might be trying to return to Mexico without required export permits for game they killed.
A search of the hunters' plane by Canada Border Services Agency officials found this was the case, Judge Kelly Moar was told.
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Mexican Polar Bear Hunters Fined $80K
A Winnipeg judge handed out $80,000 in fines Friday to a group of high-flying Mexican trophy hunters snared at the airport without the permits required to export several polar bears they bagged on a hunting trip in Canada’s north. Hector Armando Martinez Martinez, 67, Alejandro Martinez, 35, and Gerardo Rodriguez, 41, faced infractions under federal environmental protection and international trade laws after the private jet belonging to Hector Armando Martinez was searched at the Winnipeg airport March 31
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Illegal Trophy Export Attempt of Arctic Trophies Costs Mexican Hunters $80,000
NEWS: Around the Arctic April 08, 2013
Nabbed in Winnipeg, hunters head home empty-handed
Four Mexican hunters returning from Nunavut paid $80,000 in fines April 5 before they made a hasty retreat from Winnipeg back to Mexico — heading home without their polar bear and narwhal trophies.
The men paid individual fines ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 to the federal government for offenses under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act and the Fisheries Act.
They were fined after Environment Canada wildlife officers received a tip last week that hunters were planning to take three polar bear hides and three narwhal tusks back to Mexico in a private jet, but without having first obtained the necessary export permits.
Hector Martinez, a property developer in the northern Mexican hub of Monterey, his two sons, Hector Armando Martinez and Alejandro Martinez, who work for their father, and Martinez’s godson, Gerardo Jimeno Rodriguez, a businessman, had arrived March 15 in Canada with a group of other Mexican hunters.
The group then split up, with some heading for Resolute Bay and the others to Cambridge Bay.
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News: Officials Crack Canadian-U.S. Narwhal Smuggling Ring
A smuggling ring brought narwhal tusks from the Canadian Arctic into Maine in a trailer with a secret compartment and then illegally sold them to American buyers, officials said.
Andrew Zarauskas, of Union, N.J., and Jay Conrad, of Lakeland, Tenn., will be arraigned in Bangor, Maine, next week on 29 federal smuggling and money laundering charges each.
For nearly a decade, two Canadians smuggled the whale tusks into Maine and shipped them via FedEx to Mr. Zarauskas, Mr. Conrad and other unnamed American buyers, according to an indictment.
Narwhals are known as the unicorns of the sea for their spiral, ivory tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet. The tusks can sell for thousands of dollars each, but it’s illegal to import them into the U.S.
The court document doesn’t specify how much money was involved, but it says the Canadian sellers received at least 150 payments from tusk buyers.
“The conspiracy we’ve alleged was over a period of 10 years, so there appears to have been enough of a market to support that length of conduct,” said Todd Mikolop, who is prosecuting the case for the environmental crimes section of the Department of Justice.
Narwhals live in Arctic waters and are harvested by Inuit hunters for their meat, skin and tusks, said Calvin Kania, president of Furcanada in British Columbia, which sells tusks to buyers who want them for display purposes or to turn into jewelry.
The tusks range from 3 feet to more than 8 feet, and typically sell for $1,000 to $7,000 each, Mr. Kania said. He ships tusks worldwide, but not to countries that prohibit imports, including the U.S., the United Kingdom and Australia.
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News: Alleged Narwhal-Tusk Smuggling Operation Smashed in Joint Canada-U.S. Effort
Federal environment officials in Canada and the United States have cracked an alleged smuggling operation that saw scores of narwhal tusks from the Canadian Arctic illegally shipped across the New Brunswick-Maine border in the secret compartment of a trailer.
Gregory and Nina Logan of Grande Prairie, Alta., are facing 28 charges in New Brunswick in connection with the alleged export of the tusks of the narwhal, a threatened Arctic whale, to customers in the U.S. — a violation of Canadian and American laws shaped by CITES, an international treaty that regulates the commercial trade in animal parts of vulnerable species.
And in December, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an indictment alleging that two unnamed Canadians and two U.S. citizens — Andrew Zarauskas of Union, N.J., and Jay Conrad of Lakeland, Tenn. — conspired for close to a decade to transport the valuable whale tusks to U.S. buyers via the Milltown border crossing between St. Stephen, N.B., and Calais, Maine.
While the prosecutions in Canada and the U.S. are unfolding separately, the dozens of charges laid in the two cases appear to stem from the same alleged, cross-border tusk-smuggling ring.
The tusks — which routinely fetch prices of thousands of dollars each, and even $10,000 or more for superb specimens — can be sold within Canada or to select international markets, but not to the U.S. or other countries that have laws forbidding imports of certain animal parts.
Sometimes reaching three metres in length, the spiraled, spear-like narwhal tusk is coveted by collectors as one of the most exquisite creations of nature. The tusk — which is actually a kind of super-sensitive tooth that grows from the upper jaw of most male narwhals and may play a role in mate selection — is also believed to have inspired the ancient myth about magical horses with a long, perfect horn projecting from their heads: the unicorn.
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News: Narwhal Tusk Ban Partially Lifted
NTI applauds the decision which it says is based on new aerial surveys
CBC News | Posted: Dec 19, 2011 4:31 PM CST
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has partially lifted its international trade restrictions on narwhal tusks.
The department imposed the restriction on 17 communities in Nunavut one year ago. For months now, the federal government and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, an Inuit land claim organization, have been working on a plan to help settle the dispute.
The decision is based on some new information about narwhal populations, which was gathered over the past year.
Nunavut Tunngavik officials are applauding the move.
"We're hopeful, that you know, they'll do whatever they need to do and analyze it and come up with an answer, a positive answer, and then consult with the communities,” said Gabriel Nirlungayik, the wildlife director for the organization.
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