Cod movement ecology in a warming world: Circumpolar arctic gadids

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Fish and Fisheries

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arctic cod, Arctogadus glacialis, Boreogadus saida, climate change, literature synthesis, migration




© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Understanding fish movement in the Arctic is paramount during the current era of rapidly warming seas, receding sea ice and associated shifting species distributions and fishing effort. We synthesized the literature and identified key knowledge gaps on the movement ecology of Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) and Polar/Ice cod (Arctogadus glacialis, both Gadidae) in the context of climate change. Standardized web-based English-language literature searches yielded 51 articles directly relevant and 122 indirectly relevant for the movement ecology of these species combined. Most articles were primarily relevant to B. saida (85% of total filtered articles), occurred during open water season (49/38%) with focus on distribution (32/22%), predators (30/22%), seasonal spawning/feeding movements (22/19%), sea ice association (22/26%), climate change (20/15%) and vertical movements (17/19%) with few focused on horizontal dynamics (3/0%; B. saida/A. glacialis, respectively). Disproportionate data resolution has resulted in greater predictive power of movement models for the European (29% of articles) and North American (86%) Arctic regions relative to the logistically challenging Central Arctic Ocean and Russian-Siberian Arctic shelves (both 7%). The movements of circumpolar Arctic gadids are dependent on complex dynamics that include regional currents, the longevity of ice-flows and polynyas, water stratification and coastal hydrology. Dependence on these interactive and often co-dependent processes highlights major pathways and barriers to movement and distribution at higher latitudes. Despite a recent increase in impactful research, there is a critical need for more direct research on circumpolar gadid movements to aid understanding of climate change impacts on Arctic ecosystems and fisheries.