Biological invasions are known from around the globe but are relatively less known or studied in the Arctic. This secondary migration of invasives complicates ecological interactions as naturally occurring species from areas adjacent to the Arctic are also expanding their ranges northward. Another study found that the rate of marine invasion is increasing; that most reported invasions are by crustaceans and molluscs; and, importantly, that most invasions have resulted from shipping. Given the findings of the recent analysis of current Arctic shipping and the potential for climate change to expand such shipping, this has potentially very high relevance for future marine invasive risks to Arctic waters. In fact, in August 2009, two German vessels moving Korean goods from Vladivostok to the Netherlands along the Northern Sea Route became the first legal commercial ship crossings of the Arctic without icebreaker assistance. Studies of polar shipping operations have demonstrated that the external hull and ballast tanks of vessels operating in ice-covered waters can support a wide variety of nonnative marine organisms.
From collection: Arctic Biodiversity Trends 2010
Hugo Ahlenius, GRID-Arendal & CAFF