Invasive species

Globally, invasive non-native species are considered the second most important threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. These are species introduced by human activity that flourish and spread in their new environment and threaten native species and ecosystem functions.”With the increase of shipping in the arctic (see definition for shipping), the risk of invasive species entering the pristine arctic ecosystem increases. Ballast water (the water carried in ships for stability) often carries non-native species, which could be released with the discharge of water at ports or during bad weather conditions. Most of the non-native species which are released into the artic environment cannot survive the cold conditions, but with ocean temperatures increasing, the risk of survival for these non-native species becomes higher.