State of the Ocean Report for the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area

The State of the Ocean Report for the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area (LOMA) provides new (since 2005) information about select physical and biological ecosystem components. The Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area covers an extensive area (1,107,694 km²) of the western Canadian Arctic and encompasses diverse regions that include estuarine, continental shelf and deep basin waters as well as seasonal (first-year) and multi-year sea ice.

Highlights from the State of the Ocean Report for the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area

  • Natural variability of sea ice: Trends in ice conditions appear linked to chance events in an environment characterized by large natural year-to-year and decadal (10-year cycles) variability (see regional examples in Section 1).
  • Regional difference: Trends in sea-ice concentration and thickness, characteristics of ocean waters, and the composition and distribution of marine life are shown to vary between different regions within the LOMA (see Sections 1-5, State of the Ocean Report for the Beaufort Sea Large Ocean Management Area. This information on regional differences can guide predictions of future changes.
  • Providing a baseline: The natural variability and regional differences within the Beaufort Sea LOMA emphasize the need for baseline ecosystem information against which to measure ecosystem changes. The report presents new baseline studies for coastal fishes and fishes on the continental shelf as well as a recent baseline ecosystem study within the TNMPA, currently the only MPA within the Arctic (Sections 7-9).
  • Community monitoring: To assess ecosystem changes, long-term data sets are required. Local community monitoring within the Beaufort LOMA has provided invaluable long-term datasets that have recently been used to assess different components of Beluga health and population dynamics (Section 6).
  • Canadian and global commonalities: Examples of recent changes include changes in water characteristics that impact nutrient delivery and consequently the foundation of marine food webs (Section 2) and a suite of changing factors that are together contributing to ocean acidification in the Canada Basin (Section 3). These two topics highlight commonalities that the Beaufort Sea shares with other LOMAs and emerging global ocean concerns.

Want to know more?

The Beaufort Sate of the Ocean Report builds on and updates existing information for the Beaufort Sea and surrounding area. These additional reports offer more information.

Ecosystem trends:
Summary for Canadian Marine Ecozones:
Ecosystem structure and status:
Other useful links:
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