Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 176

176 Arctic Yearbook 2015 evolve (David, Lange, Rabe, & Flores 2015; Tremblay & Gagnon 2009). Experience to date, including both intentional and accidental introductions that have established and spread in the Barents Sea, suggests that species which are not directly affected by seasonal darkness, such as benthic habitat dwellers, are perhaps most likely to be initially advantaged by the new ecological opportunities. Thus we focus this discussion with examples of existing and potential benthic crustacean species in order to clearly highlight the ecological and economic interactions that foster marine invasive species threats. Existing research includes a significant degree of uncertainty that we argue incorporates systematic biases introduced by variations in the cost of accessing information in the research. As one important example, the harsh climatic conditions in the Arctic have so far allowed almost exclusively seasonal (summer) sampling and measurements, which emphasizes that our current knowledge of the Arctic marine environment is fraught with uncertainties that must be incorporated into decision-making. The resulting lack of a robust scientific baseline and incomplete knowledge of the Arctic marine world further complicate the scientific framework for data collection/sampling where emphasis has been put on certain high-visibility species (e.g charismatic megafauna or resources considered under pressure influencing commercial and subsistence fisheries) at the expense of others (e.g microfauna, diseases or parasites). These latter biases are not unique to the Arctic (Clark & May 2002; Duarte, Dennison, Orth & Carruthers 2008; Leather 2013; Tisdell & Nantha 2007) but further emphasize the biases derived from the allocation of limited resources available for research that may favor direct human resource use over more complex ecosystem relationships. Awareness of these biases should motivate both scientists and policy makers to engage themselves in an effort to better characterize the essential parameters governing Arctic marine ecosystem productivity. Until the point however when it becomes possible for the scientific community to devise some way to answer the numerous pending questions and thus adequately justify the research protocols to be applied, it is recommended to develop an umbrella strategy in order to avoid putting the ecosystem into peril. Building a consistent, credible and solid basis able to defend and protect the ecosystem from undesired introductions and ripple effects counsels adherence to approaches that appropriately incorporate both risk, where probability distributions over potential expected events can be defined, and uncertainty, where likelihoods of future events, or even the existence of future events, remain unknowable. Some definitions of the “Precautionary Principle”, such as the one provided by Gollier, Jullien & Treich (2000), where scientific uncertainty with regard to the distribution of the likelihood of realizing a future risk provides society with incentives for stronger prevention measures to shift this distribution and the expected damages, fit this bill. It is therefore advisable for research investments themselves to follow closely a set of premises within such a precautionary-protectionprevention context since it is expected to confer a number of advantages, regardless of any additional policy challenges. Brief exposition of the challenges of marine invasive species in the Arctic Overview of the problem Biological invasions in marine habitats have been historically growing with trade and increased global transport for centuries, with the literature on an international level pointing out various different bio- Towards Arctic Resource Governance of Marine Invasive Species