Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 175

Towards Arctic Resource Governance of Marine Invasive Species Melina Kourantidou, Brooks A. Kaiser, & Linda M. Fernandez Scientific and policy-oriented publications highlighting the magnitude of uncertainty in the changing Arctic and the possibilities for effective regional governance are proliferating, yet it remains a challenging task to examine Arctic marine biodiversity. Limited scientific data are currently available. Through analysis of marine invasions in the Arctic, we work to identify and assess patterns in the knowledge gaps regarding invasive species in the Arctic that affect the ability to generate improved governance outcomes. These patterns are expected to depend on multiple aspects of scientific research into invasive species threats in the Arctic, including the ways in which known marine invasions are related to different stakeholder groups and existing disparate national and international experiences with invasive species. Stakeholder groups include dominant industries (fishing, shipping, tourism, resource exploration) and indigenous communities (regarded as resource users, citizen scientists, and recipients of goods shipped from other locations). Governance gaps are examined in the context of applied national policies (such as promoting or intercepting intentional introductions), international agreements (regarding introductions and mitigations) and existing prevention programs (regional, national and international). We intend to help focus domestic and international governance and research initiatives regarding introduced species on the most valuable, cost effective options, given the knowledge gaps derived from systematic research limitations and opportunities in the Arctic environment. Introduction Decades of rigorous scientific research on the Arctic marine environment have provided useful insights on its rapidly changing and dynamic nature. Marine invasions present a significant harbinger of ecosystem boundary shifts, and with the Arctic’s increasingly weaker barriers a growing number of new species are expected to arrive soon on their own. The propensity to highly value anticipated benefits from increased human activities in the Arctic amplifies the risks of new species introductions. Additionally, the changing climate increases significantly the chances of new introductions eventually succeeding as invasions. While seasonal light conditions will not evolve with changing temperature and ice-cover, the photic zone is expected to experience complex shifts as ice and algal conditions Melina Kourantidou and Brooks A. Kaiser are with the Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark. Linda M. Fernandez is with the Department of Economics and Center for Environmental Studies at the Virginia Commonwealth University.