Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010


Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010

Indicator #16 PAGE 78

There is evidence of changes occurring in the distribution of some fish species, specifically a northward shift of both bottom-dwelling and pelagic marine species, and in both exploited and unexploited fish stocks. Climate change is likely one of the reasons for the shifts, along with other factors such as fishing pressure. Temperature changes in the oceans can affect fish populations directly (e.g., shifting to areas with preferred temperatures) and indirectly (e.g., by impacting food supply or the occurrence of predators). Computer modeling using current climate change scenarios indicates that the distribution and abundance of Arctic fin, an important prey species, may be greatly reduced over the next 30 years. The implications of such changes on both marine ecosystems and the human societies dependent upon them are a cause for concern. Changing distribution of marine fish

Indicator #17 PAGE 81

Cold-water coral reefs, coral gardens, and sponge grounds are areas of high biodiversity in the Arctic and have been identified as Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs). Damage to these ecosystems may reduce local biodiversity. Also, because corals and sponges grow so slowly, recovery of these habitats may range from decades to centuries. These habitats are particularly vulnerable to human activities such as fishing and oil and gas exploration. Increasing sea temperatures, ocean acidification, and pollution present further threats to corals and sponges. Impacts of human activities on benthic habitat

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online