Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida), also known as polar cod, play a pivotal role in Arctic marine ecosystems. They are the most abundant fish in the Arctic Ocean and are a key food source for marine mammals, seabirds and other fish species harvested by Inuit, as well as commercial fisheries.

The consequences of warming temperatures and changing ocean conditions for this ecologically important species include habitat loss disrupting Arctic cod reproduction, changing food availability for Arctic cod larvae and juveniles, and increased predation as southern species migrate to warming Arctic waters.

“Our findings emphasize the urgent need for action to mitigate climate change impacts on Arctic cod populations. These changes are not only affecting the most abundant fish of the Arctic, but also disrupting the delicate balance of the entire Arctic ecosystem,” said Dr. Geoffroy, a research scientist with the Marine Institute’s Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research, and lead author of the study.

The project received support from the Collaborative Research & Education Fund, part of Global Affairs Canada.

The article, titled Circumpolar Impacts of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Stressors on Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida) and its Ecosystem, is published in Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene and is available online.

Read the original piece in the MUN Gazette, written by Moira Baird here.