Arctic marine fishes and their fisheries in light of global change


  • Jørgen S. Christiansen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Biosciences, Environmental and Marine Biology, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Catherine W. Mecklenburg,

    1. Department of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, USA
    2. Point Stephens Research, Auke Bay, AK, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Oleg V. Karamushko

    1. Laboratory of Ichthyology, Murmansk Marine Biological Institute, Kola Science Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, Murmansk, Russia
    Search for more papers by this author


In light of ocean warming and loss of Arctic sea ice, harvested marine fishes of boreal origin (and their fisheries) move poleward into yet unexploited parts of the Arctic seas. Industrial fisheries, already in place on many Arctic shelves, will radically affect the local fish species as they turn up as unprecedented bycatch. Arctic marine fishes are indispensable to ecosystem structuring and functioning, but they are still beyond credible assessment due to lack of basic biological data. The time for conservation actions is now, and precautionary management practices by the Arctic coastal states are needed to mitigate the impact of industrial fisheries in Arctic waters. We outline four possible conservation actions: scientific credibility, ‘green technology’, legitimate management and overarching coordination.