Protecting the US Arctic Ecosystems

  • July 23, 2009

The Arctic has always captured the public's imagination. This vast region of extremes is shaped by only two seasons. Months of winter darkness with sub-zero temperatures give way to the midnight sun—a fleeting but luxuriant summer where abundant food supports flourishing populations of fish and wildlife.

Arctic waters sustain more than 150 species of fish, including ecologically important populations of Arctic cod, Pacific herring, capelin, Pacific sand lance, Arctic flounder, and several types of cisco and whitefish. These fish, along with crabs and mollusks, provide the foundation for the Arctic marine food chain that supports extraordinary wildlife populations of global significance.