Declining Sea Ice
As sea ice declines, new opportunities for high sea fisheries are emerging. The Arctic has significant stocks of
living marine resources, which are some of the most productive in the world. The Bering Sea in particular contains
numerous fisheries including halibut, shrimp, scallops, squid, Pollock, crab, cod, pacific salmon, capelin
and many more. The 2001 total wholesale (raw fish landings) value for groundfish harvest in the eastern Bering
Sea was approximately $426 million.
Climate change may have varied impacts on Arctic fisheries. Factors such as water temperature, changes in ocean current,
and competition for food could affect the rates of growth, mortality, and spatial distribution of commercial fish
Some species may disappear, and many others may appear in areas they were not originally found. This may
create new fisheries as old ones are lost.
CAFF Assessment Series No. 10: Life Linked to Ice
Changing Fish distribution
Migration and distribution patterns will likely change, impacting the catch in specific regions. Studies have shown
that warming could improve the cod, herring and Pollock stocks. High seas fisheries management practices must be
improved in order to avoid depleting these economically and environmentally important resources.