What Fish Are In The Arctic Ocean?

If you think of an animal in the Arctic Region, there are probably a couple or few that comes to your mind. You can even imagine animals such as polar bears, seals, or puffins. Those animals deserve to be recognized and might as well with the fish species.

A Must-Read: How Much Are Fishing Boats?

Fish in the Arctic Ocean brings a vital role in the ecosystem like most of the other ocean regions in the world. Most sea species live in the upper atmosphere of the water while others live near the seafloor.

Some of them are essential predators of plankton and bottom-dwelling animals such as Benthos. Fish themselves are essential prey for marine animals and seabirds, making them a vital link for the marine food supply chain in the Arctic Region.

Fish Species That Live In The Arctic

The Arctic is filled with strange and exciting animals and fish species, many of which are found beneath the Arctic Ocean’s cold waters. This article will take a moment to introduce some of the lesser-known fish that call the ocean floor in the Arctic.

Salmon Sharks

Salmon sharks are enormous, slow-growing sea creatures found between Baja California and the Bering Sea. These species have a small, muscular body that looks like a great white shark, and can reach up to 10 feet in length.

Salmon Sharks eat a wide variety of fish, but there’s just one type of fish that these sharks won’t resist, and that is a Salmon.

During the annual Pacific salmon, you can find a significant number of Salmon Sharks in the Arctic Ocean. These sharks have a unique adaptation that allows them to stay warm in cold Arctic waters.

Salmon sharks are endothermic, meaning they can control and change their body temperature. They can raise their body temperature to 20°F above the temperature of the surrounding water. Most fish species are ectotherms, meaning the temperature of their body is suitable for their water environment.

I have found that something like the Frabill Arctic Fire Tip-Up, is a great fishing accessory to have when you are out in environments like the Arctic. You can check it out and more on Amazon.

Gelatinous Sea Snail

The Gelatinous Sea Snail is a tiny, tadpole-shaped fish living in the Arctic’s cold, frozen waters. These types of fish can be found up to 6,000 feet deep in the very cold part of the Arctic Ocean.

They have a disc-shaped mouth like other snailfish that can suck up small invertebrates off the seafloor. It is an essential prey item for commercially important fish such as Atlantic cod. Although Gelatinous Sea Snails are not that essential for people to eat, they are the most important source of food for the other predatory fish.

Their shelter and habitat have not been studied quite well. Also, little is known about its reproduction, except that its spawn in September and October produce small eggs for about 2.5mm in diameter.

This species lives from south to the tip of Labrador from the far north of Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic. They roam the open water as well as the ocean floor in search of food but prefer diving 50-100m deep mid-depths over muddy bottoms.

Fish Doctor

Maybe this fish hasn’t been to medical school, but don’t keep it off. Fish doctors are tiny and brown, which blends with their preferred habitats of seaweed. These types of fish sometimes have dark bands or stripes which become more dominant as they grow older.

Fish doctors work in the Arctic Ocean throughout the year, at temperatures that fall below winter zero. They hunt on smaller organisms such as copepods and amphipods. They are eaten by bigger Arctic animals such as seals, seabirds, and cod.

Unfortunately for the Doctor Fish, no one knows how it got its name. Maybe it was named because of another fish’s heroic medical rescue, or it was named after a Doctor? Who knows.

Arctic Lamprey

If you don’t know about Lampreys, warn correctly that these guys are so unique and special. Arctic Lampreys are eel-like fish that don’t have scales and can grow about 1-foot long.

These types of species have a large suction-like mouth filled with sharp teeth and an even sharper tongue, just like other Lampreys. They often use their jaws to grip on their prey and use their tongue to scrape scales and skin slowly away.

These species have two different types in the Arctic. One non-parasitic and living in the freshwater, and another one is parasitic, which travels between salt and freshwater.

Parasitic Arctic Lampreys feed on larger fish such as Trout and Salmon by latching their suckers, which leave large red sores on the fish when they are finished. You can eat Arctic Lampreys. However, others find their oily meat to be an “acquired taste.”

Do People Fish In The Arctic Ocean

For the first time, as Global Warming leads Arctic ice to melt, parts of the northern seas are becoming more available for fishing vessels. In this case, an international agreement banned fisheries and other fishing organizations in the Arctic Ocean for the next 16 years.

The agreement would allow time over scientists and researchers to consider the special habitats of the area before they get irrevocably destroyed by unrestricted fishing activities.

Furthermore, there must be no commercial fisheries in Arctic waters. But in the event of an arrangement, they would be available under international law to any nation which desired to fish in the area.

Environmental scientists and conservation groups have welcomed the new agreement. Scientists will need to evaluate how to effectively manage fish populations in the Arctic region and how to perform commercial fishing without damaging the entire Arctic environment.

Conclusion

Fish form an essential role in the ecosystem in the Arctic Ocean. These fish themselves are essential prey for aquatic animals and sea birds, making them an important link and a healthy cycle contributor to the food chain in the Arctic region.

In all aspects, what happens in the Arctic affects us too. Protecting this area from the destruction shown in our oceans worldwide is one of the essential tasks and duties we can do.

For this reason, we need our politicians to address immense Arctic problems with significant solutions, securing the endangered ocean region unto the near future.