Contaminants are another source of pressure on the Arctic marine environment.
The annual spring influx of meltwater carries contaminants which accumulate
in the estuaries and deltas and also enter the mixed layer where they
are transported to the North American coast. Airborne contaminants from
industrial and agricultural activities at lower latitudes are also deposited
in the ocean where they can accumulate in sea ice. These contaminants
are bioaccumulated in sea mammals and in turn are taken up by Arctic peoples
(AMAP 1997, Crane and Galasso 1999).
|Stocks of Arctic fisheries (thousands of adults)
Stocks of commercially important species such
as the cod, Atlantic salmon and herring have declined in many of
the Arctic fisheries; despite strict conservation measures, recovery
has been slow and uncertain
Source: CAFF 2001
Radioactive contamination is a further threat, sources including former
nuclear weapons testing, the Chernobyl accident, and ocean dumping of
radioactive solid wastes which was common until the London Dumping Convention
came into effect.