The State of the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Report (SAMBR) is a synthesis of the state of knowledge about biodiversity in Arctic marine ecosystems, detectable changes, and important gaps in our ability to assess state and trends in biodiversity across six focal ecosystem components (FECs):

 Marine mammals

 Seabirds

Bowhead whale. Photo: Vicki Beaver, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries ServiceBowhead whale. Photo: Vicki Beaver, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries Service Eiders in polynya. Photo: Vicky Johnston                                                                Eiders in polynya. Photo: Vicky Johnston

Marine fishes

Benthos

Polar cod. Photo: Peter Leopold, NPIPolar cod. Photo: Peter Leopold, NPI In situ Gorgonocephalus. Photo: Peter Bondo Christensen, Aarhus UniversityIn situ Gorgonocephalus. Photo: Peter Bondo Christensen, Aarhus University

Plankton

Sea ice biota 

Diatom Nitzschia frigida colony with cells in division. Photo: Michel Poulin, Canadian Museum of Nature Diatom Nitzschia frigida colony with cells in division. Photo: Michel Poulin, Canadian Museum of Nature Gammarus wilkitzkii. Photo: Shawn Harper, University of Alaska, FairbanksGammarus wilkitzkii. Photo: Shawn Harper, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

 

By compiling available information, the report provides an important first step to identify knowledge gaps in circumpolar biodiversity monitoring efforts. Current biodiversity monitoring is not sufficient to describe the status and trends for many of the FECs.

The SAMBR builds on the Arctic Biodiversity Assessment and is an important first step towards better understanding and management of our living resources in the Arctic marine environment. It helps understand the limitations of what existing biodiversity monitoring is able to tell us about the Arctic environment and provides a path forward for improving knowledge.

Monitoring the status and trends of Arctic biodiversity and attributing causes of change are challenging. Complexity, logistics, funding, international coordination, natural variability, and availability of expertise and technology combine to limit available data and knowledge. These limitations affect biotic groups unevenly.

The SAMBR, is a product of the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP) of the Arctic Council’s Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group.

CAFF and the Arctic Council

 

The Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program

 

Authors and Acknowledgements

CBMP Marine Steering Group. Photo: Kári Fannar Lárusson, CAFF

 


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